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NaPoWriMo: Day 17 – Till Death Do Us Part

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). As long as we are on uncovering or embodying feelings that may not be commonly presented, I’d like to share this poem by Sharon Olds, who I think of as sort of a Master (or Mistress, I suppose) of discomfiting the reader. This poem is beautiful in its focus on detail, its word choice, and it has an earthy, witchy slyness to it. It reverses what we might think of as the “usual” relationship between the sexes in a disorienting way, with the woman as the appraising watcher, and the man as the vulnerable and innocent party.

Today, I’d like you to challenge you to write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.


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Till Death Do Us Part

Oh, there she is! Finally!

Its not as if I haven’t seen her yesterday or

today or the day before. I have. But not the way I’d like to.

I call those days my lucky days: when she’s looking

at me; only me, her eyes moist with a far away look

And she bares it all to me uninhibited. At times such as

these I am her knight in shining armor. I give her solace

that not even he can offer. He knows about us and he’s fine

with it. I heard him saying once, that’s he’s too scared

to even look at me for he’s not sure what she would have

told me. I’d say he’s a nice chap but she’s a woman and

women… well they need the likes of me- a patient,

listening ear without a tongue.

 

But when she’s feeling peiskos, she doesn’t come often.

She’s too busy then having fun. I am the one for those days

when the world’s against her.  You mustn’t think I grudge her,

‘her happy moments.’ That could never be. I love her too much

I’m just saying it wouldn’t hurt if she shared more of those

moments with me; and not just when she’s travelling

(which also by the way I  like except the fact  that more

than often  I’m left alone in a hotel room in a foreign land while

she’s gallivanting around town. It makes me cross; the only

consolation is that she shares everything  she’s done during the

day including telling me every penny she’s spent, wasted and lost.

 

On second thoughts, I guess I am still around because she leaves

me in the room. She’s rather absent-minded you know.

She lost her kid once, at the Eiffle tower  and another time

her wallet at the Colosseum. She found the kid thankfully

But the wallet- her husband just replaced it!

You know how they say, ‘Everything is replaceable,

mostly at-least.’  I wouldn’t want that for me. Oh absolutely not!

I’d like to help her remember the beautiful life she’s led

when her mind plays games with her. I’d like to be the one who

she comes to even when she’s wobbly  and gray and

has no teeth, and has a smile that reaches up her eyes

and makes it moist  whenever she brushes over me.

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12 Comments »

  1. Oh, I’m glad you wrote for that prompt, I really enjoyed reading this. A sassy character you’ve written from!

    A listening ear without a tongue… Great find. My poor brain is now picturing an ear with a tongue 🙂

    Like

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