Love Test: A Ghazal
The sign on the wall read: Test on Love
I felt the familiar panic,
I'd be lucky if I pulled a C-.
It's not as if I haven't tried.
I've studied, done research, pulled all-nighters,
and its meaning seem to elude me,
I trembled at the thought of the upcoming exam,
What if the teacher called me in front of the class
please speak extemporaneously"?
I can't speak at all." Or worse, an essay question
What if it were fill-in-the-blanks that required
What if my answers were stupid or trite,
Maybe I'd get lucky—multiple choice or true and false.
If nothing else worked, I could always throw up
Don't let me suffer the shame of hearing,
by Diane Lockward
Diane Lockward is the author of Eve's Red Dress and What Feeds Us (Wind Publications, 2003, 2006). Recent work appears in Poet Lore, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner, as well as in the anthologies Poetry Daily: 366 Poems from the World's Most Popular Poetry Website and Garrison Keillor's Good Poems for Hard Times. Diane works as a poet-in-the schools for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
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