Sat, 20 December 2008
(The pic above is actually my parking lot with a gorgeous sunset. This poem is a Sestina. This is one of a triptych--three sestinas in this case that go together....)
It's easier to escape into a dead past
than to walk the voluminous fence
that separates his life from yours,
to keep a precarious balance
while you long for the solid feel of arms
around you, a caress in the night.
The most longing times are at night,
but when you recall the past,
it's a means of disarming
a present -- that looks like a fencing
match, a means of getting your balance.
The past may be dead. But it's yours.
And you can remember all of your
hol-i-days: a canoe trip down a river at night . . .
. . . learning to stand on one foot . . . balancing
your checkbook . . . looking beautiful . . . and walking past
a string of men sitting on a fence
showing you their flexed arms.
. . . The first time he took you in his arms,
when maybe he loved you
some time before the construction of fences . . .
some time before you got lost at night . . .
some time when you had no past
together . . . when all seemed in balance.
But the scales unbalanced.
Words turned into arms --
firing up the aching past
you'd divorced when you left your
father's house . . . wounds reopened in the night
-- until you had to build a fence
to protect yourself, a fence
built high and straight, loigs balanced.
And here you are: alone in the night
with only your own arms
to surround you.
Not much to look at in the dying past.
Yet armed with the past
You pull back from the fence
Balanced for a moment at midnight
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