Jean L. Kreiling


An Anti-Tardiness Terzanelle

She really hated being late.
She only had five minutes left,
but wouldn’t make the others wait;

her tardiness would mean the theft
of someone else’s valued time.
She only had four minutes left.

She heard a church bell’s chiding chime,
but it was wrong—she still could save
somebody else’s valued time—

she had three minutes.  She’d be brave
and run in high heels—carefully;
still early, she knew she could save

the day with punctuality.
Two minutes left, and almost there!
She ran in high heels—carefully.

Just one more block!  She gasped for air;
she really hated being late.
One minute more, and she was there!
Of course, the others made her wait.


Jean L. Kreiling‘s first full-length collection of poems, The Truth in Dissonance, was published in 2014. Her work has appeared widely in print and online journals, including American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Raintown Review, and in several anthologies. She is a past winner of the String Poet Prize and the Able Muse Write Prize; she has been a finalist for the Richard Wilbur Poetry Award, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, the Frost Farm Prize, and the Dogwood Poetry Prize.