Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poem: What they'll say when she's gone


Here's a bit of experimentation as I contemplate what lasts.

What they’ll say when she’s gone

I can’t believe I will never hear her
____________ again, reminds me of
the way I felt after I lost ___________.
I wish she would have left me
her blue ___________, so delicate, irreplaceably
graceful. I was smitten with something in her eyes
when she talked, the ____________ of her
lips, the blossom on her _______________,
the way ____________ fell on her hair every autumn.
I was surprised and taken with
her handwriting, as elegant as a __________
flying from her hand, gone forever.
She was an excellent listmaker, but
she could never finish her _____________.
The _____________ she made was divine,
but her ______________ was an utter flop.
The attention she gave to every
_______________ overcame the way
she _____________. Her love of _____________
made her do things
I would never, could never do.

But I have to say, it was the way she ___________,
always there, that I will try to never forget. She did it like
no one I knew, or read of, or could
possibly imagine. She’s stayed in my dreams
more than she’ll ever know, and less
than I now believe, or remember.

March 2012



christina said...

this was so interesting to read. and it was meant for me to see this today. thank you lovely.

Margaret said...

How creative this is. And hand writing is almost a thing of the past. I know I so enjoy the elegant cursive journals my Grandmother left behind.

rosaria said...

A beautiful exercise in remembering and sorting, and treasuring.

Montag said...

One must tread carefully; it is sort of like MadLibs, and may lead to unanticipated results.

Deb Colarossi said...

I love the photos ,
and the poem is so unique. And different from anything you've shared.

I like.

The Broad said...

That was a very interesting and unusual exercise -- like a thread that is disintegrating...

ds said...

"She was an excellent list maker,
but she could never finish her _______."
HA! So clever, and beyond its cleverness, so poignant. We never know what to say, exactly, do we. We never know how (or if) we will be remembered, much less what would spark any remembering. Great stuff, Ruth. Deb nailed it: unique, different from your "usual," and...I like. Thank you.

GailO said...

I wonder if my caring for Alzheimer's patients had me reading this in a different manner than others...I hear them in it and I hear myself:) Boy do I always have trouble looking for the word I want! I hope I do not have that problem with my memory.

Anonymous said...

Great foray, Ruth, the blanks essential to the poetics of remembrance and oblivion for they share the same blanks, what is most present about the dead also the most absent, sharp features and qualities that lose their shape fastest, become the watery lacuna of memory. No matter how much we hold onto the ones we grieve, they always perforce fade into oblivion, like water through our hands, and it isn't so much their disappearance as our accepting it that is the work. I read filling in the blanks with words from a shared well whose precise location is strangely lost to me. (When did that happen?) The final three lines nailed the quandary on the head. -Brendan

Ruth said...

christina, I hope it took you to a good place.

Margaret, I feel the same about my mother's journals; her handwriting became so tiny in her last years, filling every fraction of an inch of white space, that we could hardly read them.

rosaria, thank you. I read it differently every time.

Ruth said...

Montag, yes, I know. I can picture your imagination having a field day.

Thanks, Deb. This grew out of a desire to bust down fences. When it occurred to me to go for these missing pieces, I couldn't tell if it word "work." It expresses something for me, and it may not work for everyone, but there's something about this process that got at the impermanence of even loved ones in our minds and hearts.

The Broad, I like the way you put it, which reminds me of something from Stephen King, or the film Memento.

Ruth said...

Thanks, ds. The exercise is just beyond me, actually. I try to get my mind around it, and I can't, quite. But I think that ambiguity, and the nature of losing what we think we will always have, can go well together.

Oh GailO, I hadn't thought of that, though I should have, since my mom died of Alzheimer's. That's brilliant.

Thanks, Brendan. As I worked on this strange exercise, the thought kept nagging at me that I am everything to me, but since we are each that way and we perceive the world through our own lens, none of us can truly remember another when they're gone. What a lot of hooey! My own world, so important, so vast here in my mind! And yet what is it really? It was pretty sobering.

erin said...

an experiment of existence too, ruth, isn't it? we get a bruise. we push upon the bruise. it rains and leaves cradle droplets of water. we drink the water or at least lick the leaves. what are we now, here? what will we be then? then speaks directly to now, doesn't it?

this causes me to only ask, not answer. perhaps this is the wisest way?


Gwen Buchanan said...

You are amazing.......

California Girl said...

Clever :p

Ginnie said...

Oh, wouldn't it be so fun and inpiring to read how everyone filled in the blanks! I love this, Ruthie.