until we meet again

Authors note: This is the longest poem I’ve written, originally in two parts.

“Caught in a Life not of her making”

food was a hindrance, a
distraction for the driven woman intent on the top
long hours
short breaks
rapid promotion and now,
forty-five years since birthed a
squalling infant to
an itinerant carpenter
an artist in macramé
raised by others
held dear
glass ceiling
smeared with nose prints
Sunbeam found herself seated
a café
with Wi-Fi, of course, no real executive worth her bonus
could rest with markets stalled, inflation
turmoil, the
notebook open, fragrant
cinnamon bun missing two bites
4/5ths full
A Voice!
dramatic license perhaps, but
spreadsheets and emails drew
Sunbeam, not people
Excuse me, are these seats taken?
startled, blue eyes beheld a man
a woman
old, lined, stooped, gentle smiles
she glanced around
empty tables, mouth
ajar to speak in negation
Thank you dear, you look so lonely
doesn’t she Elbert?
of course you are
Sunbeam wanted to leave, Stay!
said the steel voice,
we’re here to tell you a story
frozen, her eyes darted frantic and caught
mine, leaning and
listening – sheepish shrug – but still,
too curious to be polite
A story? with a lilt, the first time her
voice caressed my ears, the frisson
caught deep inside
yes, a story Sunbeam
how do you know my name? with panic
patting her hand now, stroking, calming, my
name is Dahlia dear, my husband here
Elbert, say hello to Sunbeam
a grunt, dentures chomping fat blueberry muffin,
he doesn’t talk much
A story. with flat tone
oh darling, are you happy?
startled once more, she flickered my
unabashed, an eyebrow raised in return, waited
she held Dahlia’s regard, yes, of course
good for you honey, a woman
should always
be happy
isn’t that right Elbert? A deeper
grunt, a quick smirk
A story! said with impatience, watch
moving with steady pulses
always in a hurry – pursed lips –
liver spotted hand raised in placation
A story, for you Sunbeam… and
your admirer over there
caught, blushed, lip nibbled, but
still listened to the story
a story – with resignation, arms folded, downcast expression
tracing the laminate top, connecting the dots of her
happy life
Dahlia smiled, the sly smile of one who has knowledge, but
not gloating – an open smile – perhaps
torn needing a refill, but counter too
far to hear, stealthily moved, the two-handed
pull and hop under the chair
screeched on tile, a glare from
her blue eyes, wanting to bolt, tension betrayed, Sunbeam
invite the poor girl over, she’s dying to hear the story, isn’t
that right Elbert?
A glance, a glug, a grunt, frequent, those
grunts – a language that only age can bestow – less than
gracious, she gestured, curt, angry, embarrassed,
and a nod, sat across from her, the black cropped bangs
matching her mood
thank you
you’re welcome
so, a story? do tell, eager to listen, the interloper
rubbing metaphorical palms in
hopes of wisdom
another glare, you’re good
at those Sunbeam
who asked you!
ladies, women, girls – there is more to life –
a pause,
Dahlia leaned back, at ease, in control
someday you’ll understand this story
when I was young, many long moons ago I
traveled, for pleasure and growth, so I told
the beach, the mountains –
music was playing, that irritating blend of
new age and pap, sorry the music’s bothersome
please continue
that was my calling, music – isn’t that right Elbert? –
’tis true, Dahlia plays a mean flute,
silence from us as the import sunk in. shivers,
creepy and not in a good way
picked up the pace, those days when concerts were
free, free of hate and filled with love and peace, I
was – naive – away from home, the world Sunbeam, oh
the world was mine
love of course, well lust, the lust of youth, it was all
yielding and the drugs?
frequent whooshing, the steady commerce flowed
our table – isolated – not by space but by bonds
a mystery, Sunbeam was caught – we were caught –
there are some that regret, her delicate fingers
swollen, gems sparkled, the flash of deep hues decorating
not Dahlia, not for all that was lost
or even found
you see, youth is for the young, before wisdom overtakes
fun and life becomes a chore
someday Sunbeam, the words will cease to hurt,
when young,
alone, scared
I, an artist in macramé
an itinerant carpenter

For d’Verse Open Link Night at the poetry pub.


10 thoughts on “until we meet again

  1. Quite a ride, Brian, and I don’t know how I ever missed this, but it grabbed me and fully intrigued. A marvelous poem, with such intimacy and I felt it was being told on a number of levels..perhaps these layers? But totally grabbed me. There are so many inners (actions, thoughts) in this that it spins a fuller story.


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