Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday Poem, "The Real Story"

The Real Story

"I could never have slept
with him," you say
from three thousand miles.
"I'm not 
criticizing but you
must have 
hated yourself
to do it."
How can I tell her
what her father once was:
gifted, elegant,
pale brown skin,
that occasional smile.
I walked past him
through swinging doors
carrying heavy trays,
princess of faculty dining.
I remembered
who took coffee
with milk
and who drank tea;
he was prince of all the rest,
tables of students,
the waiters he commanded
with a nod.
He sat aloof but
in control.
You tell me, "He's bald
and old and ugly
of character.
He was gone before he went."
I want to
persuade you he was once
so fascinating
I never imagined
he'd even 
talk to me.

from "The Real Story," a chapbook, www.finishinglinepress.com

6 comments:

  1. A snapshot in someone's life told through the power of poetry. Many thanks for such rich offering. My favourite lines were:

    'I walked past him
    through swinging doors
    carrying heavy trays,
    princess of faculty dining.
    I remembered
    who took coffee
    with milk
    and who drank tea;
    he was prince of all the rest'

    There are four lines between princess and prince. I kept repeating them back to me, the rhythm is incredible.

    Greetings from London.

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  2. Dear Melissa

    Once again I'm struck by the candor and honesty between you and your daughter - hers to you and yours to her. You seem to give each other a lot of room, which makes for rich conversation.

    It is easy to see you as the princess, walking past him through swinging doors. Walking to him, too.

    This is a very poignant piece. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Love
    Claire

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  3. "i never imagined he'd even talk to me"...
    yes; the reader sees that he would talk, of course...to her who sees him as a prince.

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  4. hello~welcome my world~<. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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  5. What a fantastic poem, Melissa, full of the resonance of first meetings, of chance encounters, of non-spoken communications, of aging and the passage of time.

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