Sunday, 9 October 2011

He is Gone. . .

She swallows hard, closes her black lashed lids,
head tilted back against the heavy organza drapes.

Listens as his automobile roars. Kicking up gravel
like a rambunctious child, it squeals away into the night.

The hat-rack is empty, it stands like a punctuation mark,
highlighting the fact that they are both now rendered obsolete.

By his departure, he has purged the ballroom of its dancers.
Left this big old house fallow. Already she senses the decay.

He will be long gone, into that world of whisky and neon.
Backslapping cronies will admire his balls, keep his thirst slaked.

While she will chase a solitary crumb of hope around this vast room,
worrying at it as she ages. Wondering what she could have done better.

Her life a stagnant pond. She needed him to stir the surface,
bring life to the brown muddy water she had become.

Once she had sparkled, gushing and singing as she rushed,
over and around the rocks in her path. Once she had been fluid.

But she had let the sides of her life be narrowed by silt. Until
her channel was a trickle, mud banks keeping her static.

Her garden overgrown. She had relied on him
to keep it weeded, to nurture the beauty there.

When he had stopped, she'd watched, powerless
as her flowers were strangled and died.

Oh how she had hated him for that.
And now he was gone.

It is your responsibility now, he had shouted,
as he had bounced down the winding stairs like ball.

It is my responsibility now. The words rang
over and over in her head, like a bell.

From deep within she felt the water rise,
it bubbled, it surged, it burst the banks.

She opened her world weary eyes, there was a light.
Her parched life, irrigated by water springing from her core.

She watched as all around her, new life sprouted. The ballroom
now filled with flowers. Birds singing in the dead of night.

She threw back her head and laughed as joy took flight,
whirling around her head like a cloud of butterflies.

It is my responsibility now. The words rang
over and over in her head, like a bell.

It is my responsibility now.
He is gone.

Written for Wordle 25 at The Sunday Whirl (using all the words.)

Tricky words this week I thought - but it just stretches me to write something I wouldn't usually! I didn't really know where this was going to go until it went! :-) If you know what I mean.

It would have been so easy to write an unhappy ending - but I don't like those, so I didn't. :-)


brenda w said...

Susannah this is beautiful. The despair and dramatic anxiety is perfectly penned. The garden imagery vines it way through her life's ballroom, and I for one, appreciate her happy ending. Brava!

Mary said...

Susannah, I loved the progression of this poem, which told a wonderful story of helplessness turning to empowerment. I was heartened to see the woman claim her power back! I wanted to cheer!!

Deborah said...

Fan-blooming-tastic!! I just LOVED it, so many lines I could quote, but the whole poem is just BRILLIANT!

I quite liked this ... could you tell! :o)

The Unknowngnome said...

Nice job. You caught me with the first line and the "black lashed lids". I had to keep reading as the poem storied on. I enjoyed this a lot.

I know what you mean about not knowing where it is going to go. :)

Mike Patrick said...

Oh, I like the happy ending. You go girl. So much can be improved with taking responsibility. Nice and gritty.

Nanka said...

Susannah I always liked your 'man-hate' lines in the poems, they seem to humor me!! Good end and as I was reading I was hoping it would end the way it did!! Kudos!!

"It is your responsibility now, he had shouted,
as he had bounced down the winding stairs like ball."
These lines would infuriate any woman and you lend the smile in the very next line itself!! :D

Laurie Kolp said...

Lovely twist at the end... mine is similar but with quite a different ending.

flaubert said...

Poignant piece, Susannah. I liked the progression this made to a happy ending.


Kerry O'Connor said...

I am amazed at how well you used the disparate words to tell a huge story of love and loss, change and living through a dying season. Just excellent work.

Paula Rae Thomas said...

Susannah, this is really great!

Dr. Pearl Ketover Prilik (PKP) said...

Oooh Susannah.... Agree with Brenda... Just beautiful...I could see it as parable of the resilience of spirit to sparkle when tended and to rise in solitary splendor when left alone... A stunner!

mjshorts said...

A lovely poem Susanah.
I liked how the words "it is your responsibility now" turned from a threat to a flicker of light and hope.

Daydreamertoo said...

I am so very glad yours has a happy ending. We ought to know better than to give anyone else our power. our light and yet, that's what love does, isn't it. Gives everything it has and trusts it will never be broken.
Lovely, lovely writing.

Fireblossom said...

We form connections and rely on people, but in the end our lives ARE our own, aren't they?

irene said...

You've described the process so well, how empowerment & responsibility turned the ballroom into blossoms.

Marianne said...

What a beautiful poem! You've taken us from despair to hope and joy! Well done!

Willow said...

I kept thinking, "Oh no, oh no." She is so weak to think she needs him, everything is falling away. She is murk and mud and an overgrown garden! Hooray, she rises, she resurrects, she comes into her own, she is fine without him! YES.

Ruchi Jain said...

Bring life to brown muddy water...
this is the awesome line...really nice.

Marian said...

it's YOUR words that are arresting in this piece: organza, slaked, stagnant, fluid. wow.

turtlememoir said...

I loved the images around the rebirth (if I can call it that) that give it life. Such a great contrast to the sense of decay (if not death) in the earlier stanzas.

Elizabeth said...

Taking responsibility is never easy, but always rewarding. I like your story and the pathos you managed even with some of the awkward words on the wordle list. You really are enjoying these challenges and it shows.


Susannah said...

Thanks very much for your comments everypne. It is good to see you all. x

Lena said...

Superb! Can't say much more than has been said - it's astounding.....!!

Susannah said...

Thanks Lena. :-)

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