Counting On It

 once i wrote poems
 without counting syllables–
 rather, counting moments
 that trickled through my mind
 throughout the weariness of days,
 with little money and lots of hope,
 and now it’s little hope and lots of money,
 and the twists and turns of reality click in
 until i feel i can only control counting syllables,
 and one haiku at a time record my days,
 the in-between lines lost years later.
 
 once i wrote poems
 to put inside stories
 that would spill from my pen with
 lyrical language and little plot,
 so similar to the mundane of everyday life,
 when snow spins our tires and meetings suck our days and relationships wither with wear,
 and i wasn’t afraid of the words
 i so diligently drafted.
 
 but i learned to count.
 to be more cautious with words.
 seventeen. now. then.