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A Note to the Reader


I unwrap my new journal,

peer at the pages and note

they are lined, a mere quarter

inch  to inscribe       free   verse.


Crampedandtight, words

boundandgagged, a          hurdle

to clear.


I don’t want boundaries,

hemmedinby lines

to crush my ideas.


I’d like to erase, make lines

disappear. B r e a k          p at t erns,

smear a




You may think it queer

that year after year

I write

pen on paper—

the poem begins here!


Later, I veer from the page

to transcribe, edit, to           steer

lines electronically.


I color my words                outside

the lines with unabashed cheer,


dear reader, each year!


Lorraine Walker Williams


About the poem: Every January I open a new journal to organically write. These journals are usually gifts. Much to my chagrin, this year’s had lines which inspired this concrete poem.