The Tin Man Talks to His Creator
I’m just a “thing” made out of metal,
stovepipe legs, my head a kettle.
When it rains, I rust apart
and so expose my lack of heart.
It is no mystery, no riddle
that I’m empty in the middle.
Some say a heart is of no use.
It is a trap. It is a noose.
It is an organ of abuse,
at best of times, merely a truce
in the battle of the sexes
between them and all their exes.
They say, “When born without a heart,
there’s nothing there to tear apart!”
Yet still I feel that all that pain
would not, could not, be in vain.
I’d bear the sadness for the start
of love that I’d feel with a heart.
And so, I pine and wish and stew
that I might be born anew
with a beating corazon
so I’d not feel so alone,
and though I would be made of tin,
that living heart that pulsed within
would let me feel at last what they
take for granted every day.
What care I that I fall to dust
if I could love before I rust?
Once more, I pray to my creator,
to that great procrastinator.
I ask again to have a heart—
what I’ve asked for from the start.
I say, “The pain, without a doubt,
can’t be worse than going without.”
Then that Great Tinsmith in the sky
looks me firmly in the eye
so the truth I cannot miss
as he gently tells me this:
“A heart’s not something I can bestow.
It is a thing you have to grow.”
Forgottenman says I should tell you what I told him about this poem. I actually wrote it after midnight while sitting outside in what might loosely be called my hot tub. Since the night was quite cold and the water had been sitting for two days, it was something less than hot, even less than lukewarm. I was writing on lined paper using a flashlight with a magnetic bottom that stuck to the metal bench beside the tub. (I sent Forgottenman photos of my crumpled, water-dotted original manuscript and he insisted I post it on my blog. If you are curious, see it HERE.) Once started, I didn’t want to stop so tonight I really did suffer for my art! I believe I finally couldn’t take it anymore and the last few lines were written inside. I was driven by the fact that the last two pieces I’ve written for dVerse were not accepted because although I started them before the deadline, by the time they were finished, the Mr. Linky would not accept them as the deadline had just closed. So this time, I was superstitious and wanted to get finished in time. Luckily, this time it worked. One day I need to figure out just how long the submission period is. I am terrible about such things.
Public Domain Illustration. The prompt was to write a poem about one of Dorothy’s three traveling companions from The Wizard of Oz. For dVerse Poets.