Thursday, September 29, 2011

"This Poem"

[Today is a great day for the blog, because we're welcoming back our "Mystery Poet in Residence, B.N.—but now appearing under her current nom de plume, Brittany Newmark.  This is a powerful & moving poem, & I feel honored to post it on Robert Frost's Banjo.]

This Poem

This poem will not survive
Even the brittle page it is written on
Or the cool night that shapes the
Bare tree branches and ices slick asphalt

The page that opens onto the sheave of other similar silent pages
each accumulating the greasy ash smudge of deeper
                                                                secrets, resentments and loss
                                                                that collect in the dark.

Better to imagine the yellow and green plastic of ride along toys,
a blue wooden boat that transported the
children across the great lake to stand tiny on a distant shore. 

Come home, come home,
We are waiting
             for you

 And have warmed your place next to us,
Whatever it was
                                  (that came between us)


This poem will not be read in the dim halo
of a sodium street light and will never document the things kept hidden in our pockets, 

never recommend me for anything more that what I have here in my hand.  Empty the 
coins that haven’t been, the bent keys
The light returns like an echo. 
But there are still pages holding out for meaning
Here is the part in the book I told you about
The scene when we walk

And when I turn
The path back is strewn with abandoned objects

Brittany Newmark
© 2011


  1. I like the sense of loss and distance and some attempt at imperfect reconciliation. The first two lines especially are stunning.

  2. Hi HKatz: Thanks for stopping by & commenting. To my mind, this is a profound poem--& I don't use the word "profound" lightly.


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