In January, I will explore the style of the Villanelle. This form of poetry has a lot of rules. I am normally a rule-breaker, so I take up the challenge of pirouetting across this restrictive dance floor with a degree of trepidation. Villanelle # 13 I will call Aftermath.

My first love is poetry. I played with rhythms as a child as a favorite toy, writing line after line and verse upon verse down in a notebook my mama gave me. The words became undecipherable squiggly lines dancing across the page.  I remember sitting on my Uncle Harvey’s porch, making up poems only I could read. I learned to write real letters after I started school. That’s when my adventure with poetry started. I found myself in a dance with a fickle dancer. As soon as I got the steps right, the beat changed, and the singer sang a different tune. COVID-19 and retirement have given me the gift of time to explore, study, and capture the essence of poetry, making all its different moved on the page.

The rules I followed writing Aftermath

The rules for creating a Villanelle are simple and straight forward. This style of poetry must have 19 lines and five stanzas. The closing stanza has four lines. Also, line 1 gets repeated in lines 6, 12, and 18. Thus,  line 3 gets repeated in lines 9, 15, and 19. There are so many rules and so little time.


I don’t want to hear any more about the vote

Or how to “stop the seal.”

 Turn us away from the dirty politics so cutthroat

It sickens me to see the rich men gloat

While the people suffer because of the deal

I don’t want to hear any more about the vote

Bleeding and bruised with no antidote

We’re all a tiny cog in a giant political wheel

Turn me away from the dirty politics so cutthroat

Our lives only a tiny footnote

On a page with a golden seal

I don’t want to hear any more about the vote

Will somebody please send us a lifeboat

To rescue us from this deadly ordeal

Turn me away from the dirty politics so cutthroat

Waist deep in the mire drifting and afloat

Please hear our cry and appeal

 I don’t want to hear any more about the vote

Turn me away from the dirty politics so cutthroat

I wrote Aftermath an hour before I heard about the attack on the Capitol. There wasn’t the first clue anything like that would happen in the back of my mind.

Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

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Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

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