The Diary

The Diary

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

He picked up the faded diary

That had lain in his mother’s chest,

Along with a host of her recipes

That she’d saved in her little nest,

He’d just come straight from her fading eyes

When she’d, fraught, reached out for his hand,

‘Don’t ever believe, for the eyes deceive

What a moment of madness penned.’

 

‘There are things you never should read, my son,

There are things that you shouldn’t know,

For life is a series of scenes and dreams

Like you see in a picture show,

There is love, distress, and bitterness

That has nothing to do with you,

So promise me that you’ll burn the book,

That you won’t read a page or two.’

 

He nodded his head at the coming grief

As the tears welled up at his eyes,

And her hand went slack, with pure relief

At the last of her offspring’s lies.

She stared intent for a moment then

To capture the much loved face,

Then breathed her last as the moment passed

And lay in a state of grace.

 

His grief burst out in a torrent, as

He sat by his mother’s bed,

His shoulders heaved as he tried to cleave

To the last that his mother said:

‘Be sure to burn all the papers that

I’ve hidden in drawer and nook,

I’ll never rest ‘til you’ve passed the test,

Be certain to burn the book!’

 

He paced the floor when he got back home

He paced on into the gloom,

The night came down as he stumbled round

In the house, as still as a tomb.

He spared a thought for his father, gone

And the thought had trembled his lip,

With just the occasional birthday card

Kept under his pillow-slip.

 

He’d never known why his father left,

Or why his mother was grim,

She’d weep at night with him tucked up tight,

It was nothing to do with him.

He’d reach on out, she’d push him away

On the nights when her grief was worst,

So he’d curl up under the blankets, thought

His life and his love were cursed.

 

He’d watched her pull out her diary

And fill up her pen with ink,

He never knew what she was writing there

But it gave him pause to think,

In the morning it was hidden away

Far from his prying eyes,

When he’d ask her what she’d written there

She would snap, ‘Just words and lies!’

 

And now he held the very same book

In the palm of his shaking hand,

He knew that he shouldn’t open it

But his conscience said, ‘I can!’

There were reams and reams of terrible scrawl

Of torment, deep despair,

In a wild, embittered, sad harangue

Like claws in her windswept hair.

 

There were pleas to her absent husband, saying

‘How could you ever go?

It only happened the once, I swear,

You know that I love you so!’

He flicked through pages, further along

Where the writing was underlined,

‘How could a single fall from grace

See love being so unkind!’

 

He took the diary out to the bin

And he put a match to the page,

He shouldn’t have read his mother’s sin

Not now that he’d come of age,

As the pages blackened and curled away

He regretted all that he’d done,

For the final page revealed her rage,

She’d written: ‘I hate my son!’

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2013 David Lewis Paget


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O! This is so gripping and so sad and doubly so for me, as you can imagine. If my mother had the will to write, I can only imagine the words she might have written. As I know my mother spent a lifetime trying to hide her sins, the fact that this man's mother wrote hers down makes me believe that she truly was sorry for what she had done. She may have well hated her son for a brief moment, but it was the memory of the sin that she had committed that she really hated. She would have undone her sin but could not. The fact that her son was by her bedside in the end tells me that he loved her. She asked him to burn the diary because she was sorry and knew her words would hurt him unnecessarily. If she did not care, she wouldn't have said a word and would have let him find the book and believe those words to be true. I think in losing her love, she lost a part of herself. Sometimes, 'I'm sorry' comes much too late.

I love this for deeply personal reasons and am bound to try to see the light.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

O! This is so gripping and so sad and doubly so for me, as you can imagine. If my mother had the will to write, I can only imagine the words she might have written. As I know my mother spent a lifetime trying to hide her sins, the fact that this man's mother wrote hers down makes me believe that she truly was sorry for what she had done. She may have well hated her son for a brief moment, but it was the memory of the sin that she had committed that she really hated. She would have undone her sin but could not. The fact that her son was by her bedside in the end tells me that he loved her. She asked him to burn the diary because she was sorry and knew her words would hurt him unnecessarily. If she did not care, she wouldn't have said a word and would have let him find the book and believe those words to be true. I think in losing her love, she lost a part of herself. Sometimes, 'I'm sorry' comes much too late.

I love this for deeply personal reasons and am bound to try to see the light.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh David. The sin was that she had a child by a man that was not her husband. She blamed her son for her love leaving. Oh what pain and destruction she wielded in that little book. It will spread its ugly fingers and grip the boy turned man for the rest of his life. She was mean and spiteful in the end. She had to know he would read that book! You have done it again, man. So good! Angi~

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

oh that was good.What would a man do if ever he read such a thing from his mother. It might turn his heart to stone. For surely he would not get married and might probably live alone

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

OUCH. this one hits so close to home. I do love my children and their daddy to whom I am happily wed -but my parents were less than admirable as were other family members. there were burned diaries and lies - its appalling.
A sad gripping story

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Brilliant, magnificent rhythm and rhyme to tell this dark and cutting story. The images and emotions so damned real. The last 2 lines hit hard.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow that's really mind altering stuff David. Double whammy.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This a real prose poetry that can be easily converted to a prose. I appreciate your end rhyme. The imagery is superb and the diction is simple and straight to the point. Well done sir.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh so tragic and gripping tale of a mother's secret. Excellently written as usual and with deeply profound emotions implied and ably supplied. I love your work, David.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

But what she really didn't want him to discover was that his supposed "father" was NOT, in fact, his father at all, but that he was the spawn of her "sin", and, that she would rather have her man back than that continual reminder of her indiscretion. With her dying breath, though, her love reasserted, trying to protect him from being hurt by these new-found awarenesses. As usual, you have created a full sweep, the gamut of the human emotional range. Yet another masterpiece, Dave!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Powerful emotional and suspenseful with a hint of a dark tone

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 8, 2013
Last Updated on August 8, 2013
Tags: deceive, grief, tomb, bitterness

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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