don’t try so hard

the day came when I got to meet the Great Writer
I got in line with the rest of them
a copy of his new book clasped in front of each of us
store employees and hangers on stood about chattering

the line inched closer
then my turn
I stood over him as he sat at the table
setting the book down automatically in front of him
he looked up and almost made eye contact asking,
“Who do I make it out to?”

I said my name and then,
“Why such sparse use of punctuation?
Are you being deliberately minimalistic?”

he looked up to see how long the line was behind me
then replied,
“I don’t use punctuation because
the refrigerator magnet poetry kit I have
didn’t come with any”

I would read the inscription over and over again
“William, don’t try so hard”

Photo by Josh Howard on Unsplash

William Faller

William Faller lives in Duncannon, PA along the Appalachian Trail and Susquehanna River. He's been writing since he read the liner notes of the Nirvana album "Incesticide" in 1993.