local_library Poem for Beth

by Jay Dubberly

Published in Issue No. 286 ~ March, 2021

“Is it a stupid poem?” she asked.

“No,” I said, “it is not a stupid poem.”


“But was I stupid to ask?” she said.

“No, you were not stupid to ask.”


“But if it’s not stupid, then what is it?” she said.

“I’m not sure,” I replied.


“But it’s not stupid?” she pestered.

“No,” I said, “it is assuredly not stupid.”


“Well I suppose that’s a relief,” she said,

“I was worried it was a stupid poem.”


“You said,”

I said.


“But it’s not?”

“No. It is not.”


“Good,” she said, “I thought it might be.”

“Why did you think that?” I asked.


“Because it’s not about anything & there’s no punctuation

& it only half-rhymes in parts & in others it does not.”


“Oh,” I said.

“&— maybe . . .” she trailed off,


“maybe I was hoping it was a stupid poem.”

“Well if you intended it to be so, then you’ve failed.”


“So,” tears in her eyes,

“it’s not a stupid poem?”


“I’m afraid not.”

“I was worried about that,” she said.



account_box More About

A. Jay Dubberly is a writer & educator living in the Little City. Jay teaches writing & film courses at various colleges throughout Vermont. He is the founder of Zig Zag Lit Mag, a hyper-local community publication. Recently, his poetry has been featured in After Dark, Bloodroot, & Meat for Tea.