(1) Write a "dare" poem, and
(2) Write a palinode.
I used two poems and wrote palinodes for them. The first one is really more of an "opposite" to my Day 1 poem, "Pull":
You are not irresistable.
You are not dark chocolate,
popcorn or bacon, a fresh Jersey tomato,
or a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.
You are not the Beatles or cute baby photos,
and you are certainly not Celtic jigs,
Scarlett Johannson or a sunny spring day.
I am also positive you are not a morning walk
or binge-watching House of Cards.
And I am fairly confident you are not
a Labrador puppy, a butterfly, or NFL football.
Unlike those other things, I push you off
like a magnet trying to touch the same pole.
I dare you - try to get through my field.
The second poem is a sort of coda to one I wrote a few years ago, "Nine Innings" (published in the baseball journal Spitball). It is a poem of nine stanzas, each with nine lines, each of which has nine syllables - the form was invented by fellow baseball fan Donald Hall. The original poem is an autobiographical take on my life as a Phillies fan, which ended with the Phillies winning the 2008 World Series. This sequel, as it were, is not so optimistic.
Overtime, sudden death, advantage
for the home team. But ours has grown old -
veterans who won the Series years
ago. Time to rebuild, the GM
says. Aging stars will go to pasture
while new kids, green and clumsy, try to
fill big shoes. It will be a long year and
a longer decade. Come on, team,
I dare you - hit a walk-off homer.