Villanelle # 17

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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 # 17 I will call Woman Working on the Line.

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 Villanelle # 17

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.

Woman Working on the Line

My life isn’t that covert or hard to define

With choices limited when you’re poor

I ended up as the woman working on the line

I once had aspirations to learn and refine

 Went to college other words to explore

My life isn’t that covert or hard to define

A degree can’t help you maneuver a social landmind

There are unwritten rules at the privileged class’ core

 I ended up as the woman working on the line

The job at the office wasn’t a goldmine

Minimum wage and a few dollars more

My life isn’t that covert or hard to define

The boss with claws like an aggressive feline

She was in the process of kicking me out the door

I ended up as the woman working on the line

The job I work isn’t glamorous or divine

 I’ve heard all of the Rosie the Riveter folklore

 My life isn’t that covert or hard to define

I ended up as the woman working on the line

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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