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Choosing the Right Words

is much like


the right wife

who will respect

your most intimate



a jasmine scented geisha


who will impress

the guests with

your impeccable taste

gowned in her flowering kimono

on your arm as you enter


or choosing

the right dog

quiet at home

guarding your study

your Webster’s, your Thesaurus

your collections of quotations

from obscure politicians

court humor from Mongolia

to which only you have privy

and not peeing in the bathtub

even if you’re hours late

from the reading


the right wife, the right dog

they fit like the pieces

of a jig saw puzzle

you’ve been assembling

for years on the dining room table

the blue sky over Okinawa,

a multicolored audience

gaily dressed

row after row of admiring faces

almost identical


hanging on to your every

double entendre

your choice of phrase

just the right modulation


and in the back row

your wife holding a little Pekinese

quietly nibbling his lamb and oyster kibble


and finally this breathless silence

as the tapestry freezes

audience, wife, dog

immobile, all eyes and ears

as you fit the last fret cut piece

into place

perfect, exquisite

                        and yet

                        in your opinion

still not



                        the right word

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© Johnmichael Simon



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