Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tough Guy (Poem)

Photo of Orson Welles Provided by Tess Kincaid at Magpie Tales

Tough Guy

Look down at your own
dark reflection in the glass

and take the measure
of your thick lower lip

set tight to hold your jaw
like stone against the words

you loosed in a too-soon
whisper. Your neck cowers

in the folds of your cotton
shirt, the always perfect knot

of your tie suddenly disrupted
by a stray popped button. Ask

how much sweat it would take
to raise your head high once

more, to recalibrate the angry
tilt of your hat's heavy brim

pulled just low enough to keep
your eyes from seeing into

your walled-off yet ticking
heart. Your left hand's swelled.

Tell me: What pain has it
inflicted that your fingers cannot

straighten except in shadow's
light? Imagine you, talking back,

the hidden face responding to
the pleading tones of self-forgiveness.

© 2012 Maureen E. Doallas

This poem is my response to today's photo prompt at Magpie Tales. Go here to leave a link to your inspired writing and to read other poets' contributions. 


robkistner said...

how seldom we see ourselves in another light, much less for who we truly are -- well done Maureen...

S. Etole said...

Powerful imagery in this. I could almost feel his presence.

Anonymous said...

very on the spot imagery

done for

verification makes it really hard to comment. you'd get more comments if you turned it off. i had to do this several times to get it to work.

Grace said...

I like the details of the character, from the neck down to the fingers. Nice write ~

Maureen said...

Unfortunately, Zongrik, the amount of spam I get without word verification leaves me no choice but to use it. It's possible to try another picture/word by pressing the appropriate symbol for verification. I use it at others' sites when I have trouble making out the initial word and number that come up.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Laurie Kolp said...

Love pleading tones of self-forgiveness.

Brian Miller said...

nice maureen...really like your closure on this one and sets one to thinking as well at just who they are....

Tess Kincaid said...

Evocative...I heard the button ping...

21 Wits said...

So real I could almost feel the pounding on my own face! :)

Berowne said...

We all need some self-forgiveness...

Susan Anderson said...

Oh, yeah.


Andrea said...

nice imagery!