the missed steps of bruised knees

I swore I wouldn’t swoon
sweep swerve or swindle
swell sell or spell
switch a spoon for a spindle

swipe a snipe for a spitoon
slay a slew for a sleigh
slather slats with slopes
slip spray or splay

so I wore a wooden wound
so I wept with the widow
I whiled as well as well
I whirled a way a window

we were willed
we were watched
we were winnowed
won for what?

which witch was that?
which which was what?

a hitch hither hat?
a pitch pitter-pat?
a pulled pattie-pat?
a tussled tattle-tat?

as a team
as a turn
as a beam
as a burn
as a lean leak
a long lake
left alone
laddies learn

as a lark
as alarm
as a hark
as a harm
as a hazard
as a chasm
as the chitter-chatter
charm

up ladders’ list
step down by threes
as a hiss as the missed
steps of bruised knees

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