Goatee

At writers’ workshops we mingle 

and greet, shifting 

chapbooks, plates of 

cheese,

plastic cups of 

Pinot gris.

 

We take stock of who’s there.

Who’s reading.

Who’s published.

Who has, sotto voce,

sold out,

gotten blotto.

 

The men in the room,

poets and auteurs,

are smartly, artfully 

groomed, pomaded 

and plumed.

 

To a man, to a cheek

each sports a goatee.

Some grizzled, 

some chiseled.

But all, it is whispered, 

are decidedly, tidily 

whiskered.

 

They move about the room, 

an erudite herd, stroking 

chins 

and the tweedy, needy 

egos of bearded 

twins.

 

Some sardonically spiked,

some sagely Van Dyke’d,

some scraggly, rough-hewn,

but none are immune 

to the bookish goatee, 

which seems to be de rigueur 

for the male litterateur.

Lucinda Trew lives and writes in Charlotte, N.C. She studied journalism and English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is an award-winning speechwriter. Her poetry and nonfiction work have been published or upcoming in The Fredricksburg Literary and Art Review, Mulberry Fork Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Medium, The Mighty, Charlotte Viewpoint, BluntMoms, Boomer Café and Vital Speeches of the Day.

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