Thursday, December 5, 2013



I sit swallowed up,
a slave of my own device
in my dusty lair,
built of lies, of ghosts.

If only, I say, plaintive,
if only this or that,
so many regrets,
the bars across my windows,
the locks on my door -
and most of all these
I hold a lock of your hair,
see you drift away.

August 31, 2010 9:08 AM

Poet's Note:
This poem was written over three years ago. It has not yet been published except perhaps in some comment stream on some other blog. It has been sitting in my to be published queue, the poem it has turned out due up today. I have over three hundred others waiting just like that. The poem was a story line even then. I may have been responding to or reminded by someone else's work I found on that day.

I often write to other people's stuff as a writing prompt. I was in 2010 several years beyond my last lost love and the poem was not about 2010 current personal circumstances. I write poetry like novelists write novels. The poems are true, certainly, of someone somewhere and perhaps of me somewhen, perhaps of you too, maybe even right now. Notice that I mark the poem as written in August of 2010. That is no lie. Neither is the poem a lie even if it is not my current emotional state either then or now.

Here's a regret that I ponder from time to time. I came across a web site just now that reminded me of a young woman named Nan Roman. I have regretted lifelong how a visit to her family in Birmingham, Alabama turned out. That was a visit over the Thanksgiving holiday, I believe it was 1970. She was a keeper (although she was really stupid for caring about me at the time, despite the really frank letters back and forth leading up to the visit) and I missed some cues I should have understood. She missed some cues too, or else she would not have assumed stuff like she did. We had met each other and hung out together in 1968-69 in East Pakistan with her friend Elaine and some others. Elaine came to visit too.

In my defense I could not conceive someone as classy as she was would ever care for me or for that matter anyone else like me. Nan is for me the one that got away. Not only that, I hurt her, big hurt. It was obvious. Ick. Stupid, stupid boy!

There is more to the story and that is even more stupid. When the dust of confusion settled and I understood how I had failed myself, the regret set in. I might have changed everything about my life in that Thanksgiving season, but then again, maybe not. I can console myself with the certainty that while she was a great catch, I was almost certainly a disaster waiting to happen. That disaster came in January of 1972. By killing our relationship before it really even started, perhaps I saved her some real bad grief.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!