Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Many Years Married (Poem)

Many Years Married


She always used waxed paper,
and he — his thick, calloused fingers

thumbing the folds at noon— would lift
to his hunger-timed mouth each wedge

of cheddar her blue-vesseled hands
slipped between slices of honeyed ham

resting in two crusted pockets of bread
she'd spread with a knife's point of mustard.


Once, to show how much he loved
her, he gave her a Shaker's nest

of boxes — large secreting small, one
measured to accept the other, in form

and pattern perfectly sized — and watched
her eyes dart to the last, its red and green

confetti filling her lap, hiding nothing but
what was the emptiness she found there.


The afternoon he died he was doing
what she wanted, ignoring all the signs

his body was sending, waiting for
the one moment he could say the words

and put his right hand there, on his heart
that had been broken.

© 2011, 2012 Maureen E. Doallas


Glynn said...

Oh, this is good, Maureen, sad and tragic but good.

Lisa W. Rosenberg said...

Heartbreaking, beautiful.

Kathleen said...

Oh, my. Lovely. Heartbreaking. True.

Louise Gallagher said...

Oh my. Yes. -- what Glynn and Maureen said. Very good. Lovely. Heartbreaking and true.

S. Etole said...

There is such deep wealth in your words.

Andrea (Andee) Beltran said...

I'm feeling that broken heart right now. The mournfulness resonates.

nance marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nance marie said...

it should go like this

a lesson that can't be taught
rules that can't be bought
there is no way
to say
i love you
it must be something
heard by the heart

hedgewitch said...

Infinite pain in that isolation we all live, in no matter how close we cohabit--the loneliness here is like a cold ocean fog that makes every joint ache.

myraysoflight said...

Beautiful but tragic...broken hearts are a terrible, yet undeniable fact of life. Thank you for sharing.

Peace and Blessings to you

Brian Miller said...

so sad maureen...this line def caught me...

hiding nothing but
what was the emptiness she found there

i def think it will be that which we leave unsaid which haunts us as our hands close around those hearts...

R.H. Mustard said...

I really like the image of the enfolding boxes and the way the poem progresses to its heart-broken conclusion. This poem succeeds in doing what many very good poems do, making pain palpable.

Ruth said...

Beautiful, Maureen. If we live each day as if it were our last, and let our loved ones know how much we love them, we might even preserve our own hearts.

Charles Miller said...

Lovely, lovely lovely in every way. This has all the emotions so deeply and so well written, that I indeed want to take a second and confide with my own heart a few minutes. Filled with many great lines, I found the following quite affective:

confetti filling her lap, hiding nothing but
what was the emptiness she found there.

It such a profound silence, and you put me there with you that I feel and sense it too. Wonderfully done.

robkistner said...

very moving piece Maureen...

Maureen said...

Thank you, all, so very much for your generous comments on this poem. It comes from a deeply personal place of observation.

Beth Winter said...

Beautiful and tragic. Wonderful penning

Jeanne Damoff said...

Maureen, I read this poem days ago, and it wrenched something deep inside me, making me audibly gasp. Of course I went back and read it several more times before clicking away from the page. How could I not?

I know one of the beauties of blogging is the opportunity to leave feedback, but I often move along without speaking, because it's the only way I can make it through all the reading I want to do. Even so, I had to come back to this, because I wanted you to know it has stayed with me. You captured something here. Something deeply universal, revealing our fragility and brokenness and how desperately we need to live aware. Thank you for sharing your gift.

Love to you.

ann tracy said...

so beautiful and bittersweet.... keep up the good work my friend!