Test For Ability

I decided to live dangerously in October. It’s a scary month, so I’m going to explore a form of poetry with stringent rules that moves at a rapid-fire pace. I’m going to write blitz poetry. This unusual style, developed by Robert Keim, has set rules using connecting phrases to create a 50-line verse titled Test For Ability.

Line 1 is a short phrase or image. Line 2 is another short phrase or image using the same first word as line 1. Lines 3 and 4 starts with the same word used as the last word of line 2. Then, lines 5 and 6 use the last word of line 4. This pattern is followed until line 48. Line 49 uses the last word in 48. Line 50 begins with the last word in line 47. The title is three words long. The title format is the first word of line 3, a preposition or conjunction, and the first word of 47. You can’t use any punctuation. Luckily, these poems don’t need to rhyme. This poetic adventure will either be a lot of fun or leave me frustrated. I will call this Blitz poem Test For Ability. Let’s get our spooky scare on right now.

Test For Ability

Waiting it out

Waiting on the test

Test to know if daughter

Test to tell if she has COVID

Covid the dreaded disease

Covid a killing virus

Virus that invades the lungs

Virus caught from guy at work

Work guy blowing snot all day long

Work won’t pay her wage

Wage of the part-time worker

Wage of the person on the line

Line of parts for transmissions

Line she stands in to make her pay

Pay that won’t come now

Pay not met by unemployment

Unemployment denied her past claim

Unemployment not for the worker

Worker who never missed a day

Worker who never complains

Complains about the conditions

Complains about the snot blower

Blower of snot from his nose

Blower of bacteria and disease

Disease of epic proportions

Disease that will bring you to your knees

Knees bent in prayer

Knees kneeling on a factory floor

Floor she walks on everyday

Floor slick with grease and oil

Oil to anoint a weary head

Oil like a slip-n-slide

Slip-n-slide in a special way

Slip-n-slide and don’t delay

Delay to make your escape

Delay to read the writing on the wall

Wall made of concrete and clay

Wall to beat your head against

Against the unfairness of it all

Against the daily grind

Grind us all large and small

Grind us into fragments

Fragments of a dream

Fragments of what we used to be

Be what we aspire

Be the best of our ability

Ability to live beyond offense

Ability to heal our best defense



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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