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')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

24 June 2016

Forewarning

In the dream
I was trying and trying
to call out to you,
I was desperate.
Some force, 
some inexorable fate,
was taking you
further and further away.

In my head I was screaming
your name, but I couldn't
get any sound out, and you
had your back to me,
retreating. You didn't see
my choking struggles,
the despair on my face,
my arm stretching.

Finally I forced out
a stifled gasp, which woke me,
and there you were
lying beside me. 
How many years was that
into our marriage?
Not very long. The kids
were still in primary school.

Even then, I knew
what the dream meant.
When I was in psychotherapy,
the Doc (as we called him
amongst ourselves)
used to ask, when one of the group 
told a frightening dream –
'Who wrote the script?'

But I did get your name out
almost inaudibly. Enough
to wake me, though you stayed asleep.
And of course there was nothing
wrong with my life,
how could there be?
Of course there was nothing wrong
with our marriage.

Some years later,
on another morning,
I woke from a dream 
which I didn't and don't remember – 
only, I brought to consciousness 
the knowledge that I was tied
to an incompatible man
and could not fully be me.

Then a calm voice, not mine,
said inside my head,
'But you won't always be here'.
Immediate peace. 
'Oh, of course not,' I thought.
Later I rationalised: it meant
not here in this moment. We could grow
more together, there was hope.

It took 27 years all told
between our joining and parting.
I still say it was you
who chose to end it.
You insisted it was me.
And perhaps it was –
in a knowing dream, when we 
were still young and blithe.


Linking this to the Tuesday Platform, 3 Jan 2017, at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.


11 comments:

  1. I could feel the desperation, and then the shock of waking to find him lying beside you. Can very much resonate with knowing one is with an incompatible man. I remember telling myself "I wont always be here." A resonating read for me, Rosemary. So well done.

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  2. it meant
    not here in this moment. We could grow
    more together, there was hope... that is such a powerful thought. It may not always work, but to be mindful of one moment and be hopeful of the next is a huge step forward through the fog.

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    1. That's a nice interpretation! I was more thinking that it was a failure to face up to what my subconscious was telling me, not yet ready. But I expect it all unfolded as it should; things usually do. There were plenty good times as well as others, before the end,

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  3. And once again you took me to a place very familiar to me.

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  4. It takes decades to understand some dreams, I think -- what is spoken so calmly and certainly in them. The willful waking brain and its long dusty blue night train, sighing "truth" as it passes. Singing the obvious we just won't accept. And then the ironies, piling up over the years. Intimacy is a goad and shackle and endless comfort, all of it: and where do we leave off and the other begin? this was a fine reflection back on a dream from long ago.

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  5. This is a poem that every person in a marriage should read. As Sherry has said, you describe a familiar place. The way forward is often unclear when one is in the situation but you provide the hindsight in an open an honest way.

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  6. I think that sometimes we should listen to the dreams.. and yes an ending is not always the one who says it first... it sounds like he was more perceptive than you thought... sometimes it takes forever to realize in what we fit together and in what way we don't.. a very very strong poem

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  7. Oh the line breaks read like a heart beat. You can feel the protagonist's claustrophobia.

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  8. This resonates with me, Rosemary. Perhaps more than I will allow myself to know.

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  9. Perhaps your poem explains why I dream by daylight, but often do not allow any dreams by night to pervade my memory or thoughts. Reading this was like stepping walking into a familiar path, perhaps the one I'm still fumbling around -- as Kerry said, the way forward is unclear. But still, we keep moving, living, and finding our way further down the path..Thanks for sharing.

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  10. We should all remember this poem when we reach a point in life, not just relationships, when things get so tough that we are sure we won't be able to stand it. Powerful.

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