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Updated on April 11, 2020


by Laura Summerville Reed

Did he mean so much to you?

And what about all the rest?

Why do you keep them?

You wave an edge-worn, sprial bound notebook

in my face, and with an accusing finger

you pound the side of a small,

move-weary, taped and re-taped cardboard box.

Your jealousy comes round to visit this place often

stirring up dust, sometimes a storm, a flash-flood,

choking my nostrils and throat with the mud of it

until I scream to take a breath

Your insecurities blister you

when I’ve been too long in the warmth of the sun.

"How could you, how could you

make love to him in a tree?", you say.

I was young, I was quite nimble then,

and I confess, there was a limb

that I balanced against.

but I had to make the climb, nonetheless.

Oh! How I love to draw your glare

when you’ve pressed the mud deep

into the darkened grooves of my brain.

Still I weep for your weeping, blistered love.

"We hadn’t even met then", I say

There was a life before you,

a past,

a history with no baggage in-tow,

only a small, move-worn cardboard box.

And It isn’t yours to drag along.

A better person might not have made

effigies into icons

and flown her memories forward

upon paper airplanes.

I am not that better person.

I write things down.

"Why do you keep them?"

Slumped, dejected, your tempest spent,

or perhaps the eye of the storm.

"I intend to be published one day", I say.

"What will people think, what will people say

If they read this?" you ask.


They’ll say, it’s damn fine writing or

they will toss it aside and pay it little heed.

I think there are very few amphibians

reading prosaic poetry. Now do you have

a tree in mind?

I can’t hold my breath underwater any longer.

©LSR 2010


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