22 October 2008


snowdrops, originally uploaded by McBeth.

Pea gravel pellets
slap their open fists at the top of my head,
It’s impossible to do anything
but shiver life back into wet skin, I admit.

Five degrees’ warmth can
make all the difference in
today’s squalling
sodden wind.

Given conditions, I decide,
you would have to agree.

The brighter times,
when the swelling undertow of
buttercups drifted us toward one another,
to shake the apples
from the tree.
“They’re meant to be eaten”, you grinned.
There’s no harm in trying. Do you remember it?

That was a remarkable time,
Just before you bought me
the trip of a lifetime, that shiny
one-way ticket to the valley
beyond Coventry,
where it rains and rains
between fine moments.

When pressed, you’d admitted
your confliction,
spare though it was.
Disease ate at you
Like a plump caterpillar gorging,
wanting more and more after the
first lush taste on your tongue
of the underside of green.

Before the idea of you
and we dissolved like sand,
parenthetically between
the edges of my cupped hands
I leaned in to brush my lips against
the warmth of your cheek.

In this interminable downpour I surrender,
walking searching circles,
stepping a little closer to out there.
With each breath, each backward glance,
each prickling memory, scanning
for directions I seem unable to make
lead agreeably away,
toward anywhere.

None of the signs lead me away from you,
nor to, but I have an umbrella.
I will be fine.
If you’re ever able to find the field again,
bring me to the apple tree
dormant with her grief,
a bouquet of buttercups and daisies at her feet.
I will forgive you.


Anonymous said...

this poem is making me think sad and strong and lonely thoughts.

McBeth said...

Yeah, I'm not sure what my deal has been lately, but my internal workings seem to be pointed in that general direction too.

Maybe it's the season, the daylight coming more slowly and leaving more eagerly, the naked branches on trees, the kids playing soccer as they do every day but now they're wearing zip-up jackets that moms undoubtedly insisted upon.

And while I've been feeling MUCH better over the past few months (rock on, pharma) I find it secretly reassuring that I'll still recognize regret, sadness and bravery if by chance I encounter it as I continue along my way. Good place to visit, seriously dreadful place to stay.

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