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.
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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