by Willow Rose

Remembering lying next to old lovers;
the tenderness I would feel,
the sudden certainty of peering
into the slumbering face of forever.
I would perch on one elbow
on those nights when the hot-flashes
Scraped out like a melon at nineteen;
when a surgeon decreed I would bear
such nights,
When beads of sweat would cover me,
like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream;
And I turned like a rotisserie chicken
wrapped in wet, tangled sheets;
Those nights
I would watch a lover breathe,
A spy in those unguarded moments
Closer than when awake, I thought,
Always preceding a break, I knew;
How quickly I would inch away
when one would reach for me,
Not knowing I was already just mist,
And taking a last snapshot of a soon
unfamiliar face, the wanderlust upon me;
The left-overs of laughter and pain
smoothed out by sleep like cellophane;
Sometimes I would whisper “good-bye”
and listen, wishing now and then to hear
another woman’s name, to share the blame;
Until that night the one who watched me came;
I knew he watched when I was claimed by sleep,
Baby doll, little girl, lamb chop lover;
Endearments and adjustments he made,
Was I hot, was I cold?
Holding a teddy bear twenty years old,
those memories make me smile;
Nostalgic; I stroll with each spectral presence
awhile. Roll over, turn out the light, close that chapter–
Only to hear an unearthly groan–and I visit the mine-field
of memory. I remember the man who slept like one dead.
The winking of his eyelids had the chill of swinging shutters
in an empty house,
I would shiver with cold,
watching him suddenly look evil and old;
And by the moonlight I could see clearly,
the moth-holes on his soul,
his dead fish-eyes;
This was the greasy Dr. Joe-Head,
he had broken my ribs,
and blackened my eyes.
Imagine Montana, imagine Big Sky;
Imagine the stories remaining untold;
Revisiting that memory one final time;
I see I can bury it, except for that night
they took him to jail and I drove to that place,
By the Yellowstone River where I washed off
the blood; slept in the car and in the dawn
caught a fish; I ate my own catch;
So I won’t ever need to visit that time;
I just need to mention even doctors
or lawyers or a high-school sweetheart,
can break, bruise and shatter much more
than your heart. We all have our stories;
let them go up in smoke, be a part of the past,
I am done with this story, or watching men sleep,
Now I’m sleeping alone, dreamless and deep.

©Willow Rose 2012

This is a good example on how to refine and use Diction within your poetic piece. For more on Diction check out Our Six Critical Questions About Poetry Page Here.

5 thoughts on “Surfacing by Willow Rose

  1. Portia Burton

    As I went on reading this poem,a ghost of similar harsh memory came back to haunt me but I continued to read with choked sobs and flowing tears. However you may wish, such wounds always throb with pain. This poem is really an epic in itself.

    • Thank you Portia for your empathy and beautifully written and honestly articulated emotional response to a poem that made me feel more vulnerable than anything I have ever written.  I felt naked; totally revealed and that is why I kept it in Drafts for months; coiled up like a reptile in the dark recessesses of memory.  I realized being a poet is taking risks; when you brought your own life experiences to the poem and responded with the throb of your own wounds you became a co-creator with me; and that is the beauty of the human experience we share in common!  Thank you for helping me grow as a poet and a person.  Out in the light of day the darkness shared becomes empowering, ideally for both writer and reader.  I know it worked that way for me and hope it was the same for you. 

    • It is mesmerizing to me, Felicity!  A perfect choice thanks to the dedication of Blognostics Administrator’s commitment to never settling for anything but the highest quality to showcase the artistic works of this talented creative community!

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