Home > The Crowd > Of Ten or More in a Room

Of Ten or More in a Room

November 3, 2010

by Scott Owens

One will be thinking of dinner.
One will be humming a Pretender’s tune
in her head. Two or more will look
out the window and think of something
they’ve forgotten to do. If you’re lucky
two will be hanging on every word.
The rest will be so sad
they can hardly keep their faces on.
But one, one will be writing a poem
so beautiful you can see trees
in her eyes. Flowers will bloom in the corners
of her mouth, and in the crease of her forehead
the knowledge in that moment that says
Right now, I care for you all.


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Author of six collections of poetry and over 600 poems published in journals and anthologies, Scott Owens (webpage, blog) is editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, Vice President of the Poetry Council of North Carolina, and recipient of awards from the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Academy of American Poets, the NC Writers’ Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC. He holds an MFA from UNC Greensboro and currently teaches at Catawba Valley Community College.

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  1. Karen Stromberg
    November 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Ahhh, I just fell in love with a poem.

    • November 3, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you, Karen. What a lovely comment.

  2. November 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Beautiful, Scott. Just beautiful. (And so true.)

    • Scott Owens
      November 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      Thank you, Helen. And thank you for listening.

  3. November 4, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Oh good!

  4. mary
    November 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

    This is a delight. It also could be a poetry reading where only ten show up –been there. And haven’t you been guilty of all those thoughts? I wrote a lovely poem in my head one time while listening to a bad reading. And Of course couldn’t remember it. It was no doubt a pretty bad one.

  5. November 14, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Yes, I agree. A poem to fall in love with.
    Hanging on every word.

  6. November 15, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Thanks, Lucy, Mary, and Daniela. And Mary, you’re right. I’ve read to as few as two and as many as two hundred, and I admit that I’ve been caught writing my own poems at more than one reading.

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