My move

"You fling it open for the first time
but I’m gone” 
M. Kahf ~ Wall

There’s flowers and a makeshift shrine.
Not meant for holiness or mere mawkish
memories ignited by tealights.
A kind of covenant though, promises
in this world and the next,
still kept. From your corner there

a few mementos, even the small beachcombed stone
buddha like, as in Japan. Monochromed
and framed, you gazed lastly at my camera
and now those eyes consider
strange surrounds, rooms unvisited.
The silence is profound, familiar as convent hush
without shared music or improvised duets.

II
Another Christmas unpacked, and buried
under bric-à-brac and baubles, a luxury, sliding box.
Some sympathy messages laid within, rubber-banded
half-perished now. And pretty cards with precious words
in familiar hand, in fading ink
as poem or passion, intimate as us.

I’d thought to keep you bundled there forever
but only stale air rose at the opening
and sentiment, fruitless as dust in cupped hands.
Objects cannot shore against time past.

Our paths diverged.
So long I’ve stood and watched
your back. I’ll say it again:
“It’s time to make my move”.

The epigraph of Kahf is one from my Poetics prompt whereby I give a choice of poetry endings to set our own poems in motion: "Beginning at the End"   

19 Comments on “My move

  1. another ending has just hit home on the personal front and so I shall be away from my computer for a short while and will be unable to respond to comments but I thank you in advance!

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  2. This is so moving, Laura. It’s gentle and perceptive, and takes the intensely personal and makes it universal.

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  3. Such a poignant poem, Laura. Promises are meant to be kept one way or another. I love the description of the mementos, especially the ‘small beachcombed stone / buddha like’ and the monochrome photograph. The lines that touched my heart:
    ‘I’d thought to keep you bundled there forever
    but only stale air rose at the opening
    and sentiment, fruitless as dust in cupped hands.
    Objects cannot shore against time past.’

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  4. I can really feel that ending, especially in those mementos…. I have picked through the masses of what my mother had kept for weeks now, and finally, we came through this weekend…

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  5. This is deeply evocative, Laura! I am especially moved by; “I’d thought to keep you bundled there forever but only stale air rose at the opening and sentiment, fruitless as dust in cupped hands. Objects cannot shore against time past.” 💜

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  6. So poignant with solemnity, wow. I can feel the grief with the roads diverged from different planes. It’s incredibly moving.

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  7. Wonderful work indeed. We both chose the same Closing to open with, though your work if far more polished than mine. The silence in the 1st half of this piece is palpable, almost unbearable, wonderfully rendered.
    Let me just say thank you for the prompt and for the mind-blowingly good response. Salute!

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  8. Perhaps I am reading this wrong….but to me…that first stanza is the death watch:
    “The silence is profound, familiar as convent hush
    without shared music or improvised duets.”
    The second stanza is some time after….unwrapping the memories….familiar hand in fading ink…the searing need one had in the beginning, to keep the loved one bundled there forever, in the artifacts, the letters/cards with her writing on them, the photos, the mementos. And then the realization that these objects, fading, deteriorating, cannot replace time past…time lost….the empty space left.
    Sending gentle thoughts of serenity in your time of loss.

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  9. Powerful writing! This must’ve been painful to write. It’s beautiful in its sadness and open honesty Brava!

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  10. You did a great write on this Laura Loved the image of memories in a box held with a dried up rubber band… the story of so many broken relationships and lost loved one!

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  11. Jesus! Just ereyesterday I rediscovered a stack of cards from years ago tied in a ribbon where one end somehow faded landed outside of the container. The dust and faded hue belie the care and colors of what was attached to the rest of it. The past and the present collide as I reread sentiments and fall into memories nearly a score old. This hit home.

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  12. This piece explores the journey of grief in a way that brought me to tears. The small, almost totem objects take on a new meaning after someone is gone.

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  13. A rich deep piece Laura. The two chapters – which I read as packing up the house after the passing; and then sometime later the uncovering of mementoes and memories – concluding with that final need to be free. Some lovely lines – I particularly liked: ‘Objects cannot shore against time past’ – the play of meaning in ‘shore’; & the painterly touch in ‘The silence … familiar as convent hush / without shared music or improvised duets’ – conveys in that one delicate image so much of the relationship and a house once ringing with song.

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  14. kaykuala

    So long I’ve stood and watched
    your back. I’ll say it again:
    “It’s time to make my move”.

    An unguarded moment which within a split-second can be wrested away from our hands. There are brave decisions that have to be taken at that opportune time. Agreed Laura and done beautifully here!

    Hank

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  15. The mementos I keep of my mother’s ~~~ this poem brought back so many wonderful memories. Thank you.

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  16. “I’d thought to keep you bundled there forever
    but only stale air rose at the opening
    and sentiment, fruitless as dust in cupped hands.
    Objects cannot shore against time past.”

    This has such a yearning and finality about it. Just beautiful, Laura

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