The room rang loud, so after spurts of whats
and I-can't-hear-yous, I declaimed a tale,
doused with illusion, of a bowl of kale
all crinkly somber green, sprinkled with nuts
and lush tomatoes.... where from here? A klutz
with small talk, stumped beyond the pale,
I nailed the salad part, but when the frail
rundown ran out, I flailed in ands and buts.
And while you smiled, and while the windowsill
cracked open into breeze, and I believed
that every nod of audience you meant,
that, just as I poured forth with the intent
of cheering, so with cheer was I received,
a fragile evening glittered in goodwill.