This morning I start the fourth day of working on the same poem. Maybe today the pieces will finally fall into place. It’s a complicated subject and I chose to present it in a villanelle. It would have been faster and easier to write this one in prose or couplets or even in ballad stanzas. Sometimes I feel a struggle coming and plunge ahead anyway. Now and then I need a good challenge to make me keep rising to the occasion. Otherwise I risk falling into lazy habits of finding the simple way to get my work done. The world of children’s poetry has more than its share of abcb sing-song verses that deliver their messages without flair, like serving filet mignon on paper plates. I want to avoid that whenever possible. I want to feel satisfied when I finish a poem. When I read it six months or five years from now, I want it to bring back memories of what went into its making.