Outsmart Myself and The Way I Think

November 19, 2021

Outsmart Myself

The lines of my poems are
smarter than me.

They live inside a snow globe,
swimming through swampy glitter.

My hesitation pulses through every
shake, every music cycle.

My poems are always ready to fall

I want to carry them along with me
through the snowy streets of New York City.

In a dirty, old, coffee stained tote bag,
my papers dance like they are ready to run.


the way I think

I am taking a shower when I spot an ant.
Crawling up the side of the wet tile
behind my shampoo.

I feel sad for said ant for many reasons.

One: the water is spraying him
though he is holding on.
The shower is raining upon him.
This is it for him.

Two: I don’t think he can find his way back
to his family and I don’t think he will even
if he could.

But three – the most important: this ant
will never know you. Will never know you
in all your vanilla scented glory with your sweet smile.

I am taking a shower watching an ant fight
for its life and all I can think about is you.
The shame of someone or something never
getting to meet you. That is despairing.

I wash the shampoo out of my hair
and can’t tell if the water is running
down my cheeks or if I am crying
for the ant.


Sydney Shaffer is a creative writing graduate of SUNY Purchase college. She started writing as a young girl and has never stopped since! Sydney enjoys reading, writing, making arts and crafts, playing with her cats, and drinking lots of coffee in her free time.


Featured Image by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash