Saturday, April 21, 2018

Swallowing a Hair: An Author Event Horror Story (in verse)

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is a story in verse form from my first ever author event. This moment makes me cringe a little bit every time I think of it. I can only hope this poem does the same for you.

You know that feeling
when you sense a strand of hair
stuck to your tongue,
a foreign object that makes you want to gag
and spit
like a cat with a hairball
and you can't focus on ANYTHING
besides pulling it off
no matter how many
of your thumb and forefinger
it takes?

It was exactly that.


I was powerless in that moment,
standing with my book in my hands,
smiling back at the small crowd of faces,
some familiar,
some new,
all eager to hear
what I had to say,
all eager to hear me
read my book
for the first time

Perhaps I could have excused myself,
turned around,
pinched at the surface of my tongue,
and it would have been over
and forgotten
in a matter of seconds.


I didn't want that image in the minds
of my audience.

It took every bit of fortitude I possessed
but I forged ahead,
pretending that
the invisible, coiled intruder didn't exist
at a moment I cannot pinpoint,
it was gone,
washed down my throat
with a trace
of swallowed saliva.


  1. Ugh! And in a space where nerves make it so hard to stay focused...even when everything is going well!

    1. Fortunately I wasn't even that nervous by that point. I had gotten it out of my system during the drive there and setting up.


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