Miss pink gloves looks like a contender,
a speed date you would like to know,
her wispy bangs and moon-deep eyes,
the way she clasps her bag against her thigh.
As you sit down, “Oh what is it you do?”
You come out fighting, “I’m a published poet.”
She counters with a raised eyebrow, and sighs,
“Dear God, you mean another one of those.”
“The terse haiku dude labored odd relations,
the sonneteer was full of high conceit,
You really can’t be worse than all those others.”
“I am a Tanka master.” She says, “Shit!”
So you dive straight in,
Manyoshu to Kokinshu,
the chosen form for lovers,
friends, between tea, end of day
She takes your points, left, right, left, right, left, right,
the best research that Wikipedia has,
She hits below the belt, “Well, I do free verse.
Your prissy counting I’ll leave to my gran.”
You stagger back, while looking for a comeback,
but she is getting up, and moves to leave.
You offer to perform a quick recital,
The timer sounds for technical defeat.