Thursday, December 3, 2009

We thought of you

For you, long-ago friend, and all the missing women.

We thought of you there
out alone in the frigid air
with your heart
pinned to that tree.
Those sleeves, your hands
tucked in, didn’t make up
for the powder pink
dollar-store shrinky gloves
that the weather only laughed at
so you lit up a smoke
to feel warmer. You were snug
in your jeans, not the best thing
for this time of year
and those boots, they were designed for
shopping malls and department stores
not these grit-worn streets.
We thought of you out there
alone with your heart
pinned to that tree
waiting to be somebody special
for somebody special
hair up like it’s the eighties again
black and shiny, black and shiny
purse studded metal
drooped securely
reassuringly
over one arm.

Rachel Westfall
December 3, 2009

11 comments:

christopher said...

Hi Rachel, thanks for coming by. You must be getting busy these days. I am really happy with your poem and I don't want you to take this one too personal but it is fresh and came up out of the hurt that I felt in your poem.

What's It Like To Be You?

You walk on my heart.
I hope you don't mean to be
like this, not to me.
I wish I could see
what it's like to look out your
eyes and taste your mouth
from the inside...is
the stale taste like mine? Do you
have a bad place or
even two in there that
leaks out the small pain, that stinks,
that you hide like me?

Annie said...

Hi Rachel,
There's great imagery and feeling in this poem. I can visualize her, pink gloves and shiny black hair, standing in the cold with her heart pinned to that tree. I like your use of the first four lines and the rearrangement later in the poem, emphasizing the word, "alone." Your concern for the real person is evident, and poignant.

RachelW said...

Christopher, you break my heart. :) Yeah, I think everyone I know has that place that leaks pain, which they try to hide. And maybe that tasts inside our mouths, we all share that, too. All part of human existence, maybe. I like your poem, a lot.

Annie, thank you for seeing her, with me.

Catvibe said...

It's interesting, this poem speaks about something I've been thinking a lot about with people, affectations. Disingenuous ways of being, for reasons that are genuine and very deep. The longing to be loved... It's so good to read your poems again.

RachelW said...

Cat, thank you! Yes, I think you have put your finger on it. Affectations-- and the longing to be loved. I knew women, back then, who would hustle in the bars to make money to help out the guys they loved. So vulnerable.

Karen said...

I can feel the caring and sadness in this. You've painted a complete picture of her in so few words, Rachel,once again showing your great talent. She seems so familiar; I'm sure I know her...

Julie said...

I read your poems over and over, Rachel. There is so much meaning in the words...and many important stories. The woman in this poem is someone I know, too. Actually, there are many, which is why I love it so much.

namingconstellations said...

Echoing what Karen said, I was about ready for this woman to walk right out of my computer screen. (Or, at least, you know... in the door or something. It was the realism.) Heartwrenchingly lovely.

RachelW said...

Karen, I'm glad you know her. Maybe we can both keep an eye out for her, to make sure she's ok.

Julie, thank you! That means a lot to me, coming from you. :)

Joseph, will you keep an eye out for her too, please?

Woman in a Window said...

Farg, Rachel, i love this one! Love it. You saw her clearly and let us see. Really. One of your best.
xo
erin

joaquin carvel said...

sometimes it's old friends i think about like this - sometimes it's a long-ago version of me. this is wonderfully sentimental but not sappy - sweet and sad.