We often wash our minds clean here on memory lane, so what was a dark portrait is illumined once again.
Daily random memories wash up on the shore while sadder associations stand waiting by the door.
I do not choose remembering the dark spots in our past. It is the brighter moments that I prefer to last.
The heart I formed from copper, the heart you carved of wood. All the broken contracts healed by all the good.
Love stories come in fits and starts and so it was with ours— we must choose our final endings by our selective powers
to decide what we will sift from memory’s fine sand, and though the bitter moments haven’t been fully banned,
I daily choose the moments that I will remember— that March day when our love was young, not your final September.
When I met Bob, he was teaching art in Canyon Country, California. One day he brought me this pouch necklace he had made of leather in class. Inside was a wooden heart with his initial on one side and my initial on the other. Yes. I had to marry the man. Later, with his encouragement, I became a metalsmith and formed this heart out of copper for him. The pouch now also contains a lock of his hair, a lock of mine, a miniature bar of chocolate–his favorite food on earth–and a tiny dinosaur carved by one of his small sons in the studio where he worked with his dad. When I admired it, he gave it to me, just as Bob gave to me the family he brought with him when we married.
What fewer love stories there would be if we could see their endings—so many middles of romances left unread by those who read their last pages first. When I remember each past first kiss, it is in a mirror half obscured by the future reflected in it. One love is forever caught underwater where it gasps for air. Another is ashes floating out in rings to touch the edges of a lake which is shrinking inward from its banks, as though in complicity to aid their settling along its edges. Another lies in small droplets of blood on a road where it was ambushed, too late to be a message of anything but regret for love that died before the lover and a lover who died too soon. There are all these deaths of loves—like a class for the unfortunates who, kept in after school, are made to trace their lines again and again in the belief that love is taught by repetition and that wisdom comes from practice.
Although she was our portal to the world, with little pageantry we laid her down. No trumpets blared, the flags full mast unfurled, for it was small, the realm of her renown.
And yet the limbs were bare, the whole world brown as though the trees she planted all were lief to shed their full green finery in their grief.
The prompt today was cloaked. Also for the dVerse poets prompt, Rhyme Royal.The rhyme royal stanza consists of seven lines, (usually) in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme is a-b-a-b, b-c-c. It was the standard narrative meter in the late Middle Ages.
Why does the loveliest flower have the sharpest thorn
so you had to pay the tariff of young flesh pierced and torn
by the most splendid ornament that you had ever worn
as he clasped you to the music of the saxophone and horn?
It’s been true each day you’ve lived, was true when you were born,
and your father brought fresh roses—your bedside to adorn.
And it will go on being true on that future morn
when roses will be carried by those saddened and forlorn
as they place your ashes where you’ve asked that they be borne:
back to that same rose bush that so long ago was shorn
of the roses that you carried when your wedding vows were sworn.
Who knew fidelity’s even stance could be mitigated by circumstance? That a subtle smile, perchance, exchanged between you at her advance would wind up in a swift romance that flourished in that small expanse between us and her winsome glance.
Who knew that you would go freelance when love became our ritual dance? And that I, still in loving’s trance, would only learn it later, by chance. Reading your words, caught twice askance. First by your death, then grief enhanced as I suffered loss anew with this further death of you.
Bleach all the colors from the flowers. Cancel out the sun. Stay the music. Still the dance. Tell laughter it is done. She will not walk this way again so all must cease to walk. Her conversation’s over. The whole world must not talk. Earth upon its axis should still its constant motion. The cook must quiet his cooking pots, the chemist trash his potion. The universe must end itself now that my true love’s dead, and I lay myself beside her on our wedding bed.
A hand releases mooring lines and I go floating free.
Unmoored and unamóred, I float upon the sea.
Each time I find a tether, it lets loose of me,
for nature seems to be at odds with propinquity.
Nothing lasts forever or even long enough.
Each time the tattered sleeve of time shakes me off its cuff,
I am again amazed that the rules won’t change for me.
Each time I am newly surprised by mortality.
So many friends and lovers, so many family members
who once were bonfires in my life, flicker down to embers
then fade to ashes in a jar sitting on a shelf.
and once again my tether becomes only my self.
It is a cruel truth of life, this ephemerality
that severs every hawser as ones we love go free.
No matter what allegiance, what solidarity
is promised, still the vow that lasts is mutability.