I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

This blog is not, 'Here are my very best poems'. It's for work in progress, subject to revision.
Posts may be updated without notice at any time. Completed work appears in my books.

16 January 2013

The Fence


The fence between present and past
has many names.
It is called linear time, it is called
impossible, it is called death.

Driving home on a sunny afternoon,
I pass the turn-off
to Pottsville, where we used to live
and I dream of taking that road

back to our old life in our old home
and finding you there
waiting, smiling to welcome me in.
You would be at your computer

or maybe already cooking ...
we would hug.
But I drive on past that turn-off
knowing the road to the past is barred.

Across it is a high, invisible fence
I can't drive through.
I would find myself diverted, back
to the present in which you don't exist.


Submitted for Poets United's Verse First - Fence

31 comments:

  1. I'm thinking some day we'll be able to cross that fence. We might not be able to go back, but maybe we can move forward with the ones waiting for us on the other side. Maybe that's not impossible.

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    1. I think so too, Libby. But for the moment I am in this phase.

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  2. A strong poem, and I understand what you mean. There are indeed those invisible fences that one cannot either see or pass through....nor can the one on the other side. I have also heard this called a 'veil' and said that the veil between life and death is a thin one. At least, as in your case, there can be the memories of when both were on the same side of the fence.

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    1. The veil is thin ... but that is in the present, not the unrecoverable past. But yes, it is recoverable through the memories.

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  3. Powerful and honest, Rosemary, this poem eloquently tells an inevitable truth in such a concrete way. You have channeled your current phase into a communication as clear as can be. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. We who have writing are so lucky, I think, that we can do that.

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  4. I realy like this. When we brush up against those invisible inevitible fences, at least--as in your poem--images arise and cling to our presence.

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  5. it's sad but also with this strong sense of safety and keeping us on the right path. well done

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  6. What a poignant and wonderful poem, Rosemary. If only we could take that path to the past. This poem speaks right to the heart. I love it.

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  7. Well thought out and written. I remember that fence, and know that some fences are meant for safety and self-preservation. Your honesty is priceless,

    Elizabeth

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  8. Where there is a fence there's usually a gate, the trick is finding it, nice write.

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  9. Sad write, but you capture the moment of understanding so well--loved this!

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  10. And oh so sad yet universal feeling we all have - memories and habit can almost seem like the present for a moment of bliss and then we remember only to have the sadness feel brand new again too - good write :-)

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  11. Heartbreakingly true.
    How poignantly expressed.
    But somehow I feel there is a trace of pleasure left in this, which may well be worth reopening the wound of overriding sadness.
    Just saw that this is also expressed by the previous commenter.

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  12. Heartbreaking and deeply riveting piece, Rosemary. Gives a person a reason to pause and think how many fences we must have built in life, and how many of them can we cross over...alas!
    Beautiful..

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    1. Some things are inevitable .... yes, alas!

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  13. A tantalising thought to go between the two sides. Well done, Rosemary.

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  14. Rosemary, so much emotion in your poem! I hope that the writing helps to bring some comfort.

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  15. wow, a great response to the prompt. the first stanza already got me hooked. sad poem, but a decision has to be made.

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    1. I was thinking it was made for me — but perhaps you are right.

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  16. Rosemary,

    I felt emotional reading your great poem Rosemary. It brought me back to my return visits to Belfast, with an absence of parents and family. That emptiness and passing by what was once my home...

    Eileen
    Thank you for commenting at my poem. I am late after my holiday, getting back to a routine:)

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    1. I can relate to that too, Eileen. I have been thinking of visiting Tasmania again, where I grew up — but it would be the same as Belfast is for you.

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