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"Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." Leonard Cohen

Thursday, April 15, 2010

THE DEADLINE April 15.2010 re prompt "deadlines"

The Deadline

It started out the way it always does
She was pleasant and inquired after
My health, my guy’s well-being, the kids
The usual lulling me into a sense
Of normalcy; that thing she does so
Easily that I fall under her spell without
Giving it a second thought; after so many
Years, I wonder, what is the matter with me

Is my need for her, for a connection with
A blood relative so desperate, and,
Since she’s the only one left, I let her
Repeatedly suck me in, make me believe
She loves me, likes me even, just enough
To be civil, to let bygones be bygones

What are those anyhow – bygones I mean
Previous hurts? Past wrong-doings?
Dearly departed injuries inflicted by us
Upon each other – former, golden days,
Imagined slights, long-gone insults
Dreamt or imagined veracity – are all
Of these bygones? I often find myself

Wondering this, just as she sinks her teeth
Into the softest, most vulnerable part
Of my psyche – and, I can’t even say for
Sure where that is, just that she finds
It unerringly, every time we speak

As true as a flaming arrow sent
From a skilled crossbow-man’s instrument
She delivers finally a line, a phrase,
Or several words, designed to remind
Me that, at the core of it all – she cannot
Forgive me- or will not- for whatever it is
I have done this time – whatever the transgression
Might be, in her mind, and she does not
Say, of course, what that is – just hangs me
Out to dry – dangling as if over a precipice

As I struggle there over the abyss, she begins
Letting loose with her vituperative string
Of invective, hardly pausing to draw breath;
I try to interrupt knowing how pointless that
Exercise is but feeling the necessity nonetheless;
It takes me several seconds to finally realize I am
Holding a silent receiver in my hand, no sound
In my ear, save the dial tone; once again, slowly
I become aware; all I have left to me is a dead line

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