Thursday, March 15, 2012

Closest to the Edge

So, take the one closest to the edge
The one voted most likely to slice open
Her wrists, hang herself by the neck
Put a bullet in her brain; take that one
And stone by guilty stone, begin
Building a monument of some sort

Don’t worry about things from the past
Indicators that the situation may be
Quickly going south or that this might
Not be the season to flirt with this
Possibility; don’t pause to consider
Where this might all end, where it
Has ended other times when the start
Has been so similar to this start

You are not even thinking along
Those lines at all, are you, there are
No thoughts like those anywhere to be
Found in your mind, only her mind
Is a littered minefield of possible
Explosions that might take out her life
At least parts of her sane life and yet

No matter how many times you may
Have been exposed to this particular
Scenario, you do not possess even a
Tracing of it remaining in your
Consciousness; on some level,
Probably on most levels, she senses
This and knows she is doomed

December 17, 2009

Written amidst arguments about Christmas – mostly between my daughters and I, about where one daughter - the one with children - and her family - are going to be spending the holiday (out-of-town) and an incredible bitterness from the other child surrounding this decision* ... the argument degenerated into all sorts of things – detailed in my journal – and non-speaking – one is still not speaking to me – it’s been almost 2 weeks now.  Anyhow – things were starting to get sorted out last night, I thought, the two girls talked but then I tried to explain some stuff to you and then we fought and now I guess we’re not talking. That’s where this poem grew from.* (There were mitigating circumstances behind our youngest's unhappiness, unbeknownst to the rest of us until long after the fact.)


  1. can twist us in knots. How does it get so complicated? Love those first two lines.

  2. "The one voted most likely to slice open
    Her wrists" ... Wow. Quite the contest.

  3. Whoa--I would *never* have connected this with a family argument, (though I've lived through many being the oldest of three girls with a crazy mother)I reread it with that in mind, and still, I'm amazed at how you're able to give this such a universal, non-personal voice, even though its extremely vivid and full of realistic detail, almost too much so for comfort.Yet, there is an intimacy to it too, that only comes in family dysfunction, where other's problems seep in and out of our pores, without 'even a tracing remaining'as it is ME that matters here!too often---a striking and deep-cutting piece.

  4. I never would have imagined that's where this piece came from, Sharon... but your commentary drew me back to the poem, which I read several more times, and now I want to keep on reading it... sounds so much like my sister and me growing up. I really like the 3rd stanza.

  5. oy, wow nice write and filled with lots of feeling as well...i have a hard time with arguments that leave people not gives in to defeat by not communicating, but sometimes it is hard hearing things we def dont want to hear...the note that there were things going on that you did not know about makes a little more sense of it all...

  6. You have indeed woven this into your life, from your life, and back into an illuminating moment where life intersects art and art intersects life. You've definitely caught the spirit and letter of the prompt, situating us it in your life as you live it and as it spawned the poem. Your ability to transform life in all of its gritty details makes for powerful reading. Where it leads I think is where most art leades, to a chance to see reality in renewed patterns, order from chaos, molded darkness into shapes of meaning.

  7. I really admire writers like yourself who bare their wounds so truthfully... I can really relate to this one...maybe too much. Great writing!

  8. I immediately had the sense that what the poem was most pointing to, was the underlying reasons for a person's emotion or action. Your paragraph confirmed that; at least that's where this all seemed to go for me. A really good poem, in any case.
    Mine is about sibblings, and arguments, as well, but from a different perspective:

  9. ugh...tough and real...this is when real life turns into poetry while we try to sort our emotions and feelings how you done this..

  10. Very intense-- a difficult set of circumstances to give voice to but bravely and honestly done-- My takeaway is that you are there for your daughters; give yourself strokes for that. xxxj

  11. Many thanks to all who came, read and commented on this piece ... it's one of those where you're never really sure if you should put it up, it feels that personal; but at the same time, it did have a good bit detailing how it came about so worked well for the prompt ... and, it feels good to hear what so many insightful poets I respect have to say about this poem so in the end, I'm glad I posted it. Thanks so much again to all of you.

  12. Oh dear, very sad. Well-written and described, but, of course, terribly sad. K.