My editor likes white space,
lots           of           it
like whipped cream on a short cake.

She used to be a writer but then she got married.
Her first born, dyslexic, needed a special school,
picture books. This was before I knew her, the epiphany

inspired by motherhood. I submitted dense manuscripts,
no paragraph breaks, punctuation like Cormac, too many

homonyms. I was a volunteer librarian’s helper
then and she red-lined each manuscript, gently let me
down like an arranged date with a first cousin
raised with a conscience.

Actions have reasons; there is a mercy in rejection.

She convinced me to write poems, short poems.
Not haiku or anything with pentameter,
just dribs and drabs from my subconscious.

She published one about being an introvert
in the world of Zoom and unhappy families,
the inevitability of rewrites and death.

About the happy editor whose slush pile
is empty, whose desk upholds a photo
of a family on a beach, an iced coffee waiting.