Desert Life

Desert Life

A Poem by holly
"

Grief

"

 

Santa Fe - 2008

 

More was settled than the dust in that harsh
cold morning. The brightness was misleading.
No sun could warm the piercing chill.
Standing next to you, nearly touching,
I felt the glacier climbing up my ankles
reaching for my memories of you.

 

 

Massillon - 1952 - 1966

I rode your shoulders then
and touched the ceiling with my child's hands.
No one ever had a taller, fairer brother.

 

At 18 and at 23, you'd had enough and
left our town as though it was on fire,

not knowing that our town's gossip,

immortal, and our father's fatal flaws

clung like mites inside your lashes, blurring

memories as well as insight.

 

You mailed me your Army cap. I wore it faithfully
till some little b******s ripped it off.

 

Our father died. I got pregnant, married, dumb.
Contempt and fear sifted through those years.
The iciness of loss kept me in hiding. No avalanche
could frighten me as much as your impatient voice
closing up a conversation on the phone. I was not
allowed to see you, I was told to keep my distance.

 

Santa Fe - 2008

 

When seventy-six you finally asked me home
to put in place the missing parts we shared.
Or so I thought. The old love I brought only
scattered decades' dust into your angry eyes,
brought on the raging ice, the arctic hate.
I mentioned dust just now, I think.

 

I felt it moving in my mouth, choking every word
I thought I'd use to bring my brother back.
Dust and ice. Christ, I thought I'd rather die
in dust and ice than face the fact: there'll be no
kind goodbyes, no final understanding, just
that flat taste of dried up earth and sting

 

of never-ending pointless ice. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


Various places 1965 - 2008

© 2010 holly


Author's Note

holly
This is my first poem since returning from New Mexico. I got some good constructive criticism that I want to follow up on. Thanks to all who commented publically or privately.

11/7/2008 This is an entirely different poem about the same event. I'm getting a bit closer to want I want in this one.

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Featured Review


You write good stuff.

Unfortunately , though you try repeatedly
you will never recapture those moments.

Writing is a tremendous therapy, but it
can, and nothing else can fix our lives.

You are special because you have come
as close to recapturing life as I have seen.
You also look life and death directly in the
eye and we are pleased.

------ Eagle Cruagh

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

A splendid read ans write...Thank you for sharing...:)

Posted 7 Years Ago


there are some golden pieces of writing in here:

I felt the glacier climbing up my ankles
reaching for my memories of you.

and our father's fatal flaws
clung like mites inside your lashes,

you have a talent for imagery. You use it wisely and without the heavy hand of a drunken poet. I do think there are a few patches where you could reduce the wordiness and clean the line breaks to make your clever points a little sharper. An example:

More was settled than the dust in that harsh
cold morning. The brightness was misleading.

could read

More settled than the dust that harsh cold morning.
The brightness misleading.

thanks for posting and Viva la


Posted 9 Years Ago


This gripped me like a vice in its intensity. It never lets go. The ice, the dust... tell the story of broken sibling realtionships in ways that words about actions could not. It's a hard fall to go from touching the sky to a lifetime of tasting dust and regret. Sad, wistful, and penned with just the right amount of frustration and unreslved hurt.

Posted 9 Years Ago


this is so painfully desperate... "The old love I brought only
scattered decades' dust into your angry eyes" - heartbreakingly beautiful.

My only criticism is that bringing back the ice theme at the end is a little tenuous, as you haven't included hints of it throughout the poem, whereas with the very powerful (and very good) dust theme, you have and it works well.

Other than that small point, this is stunning. Well done!

Posted 10 Years Ago


For me this is still a very haunting piece of writing, words expressing the swaying of history between you and your brother, ending in such sadness and hurt.

Yes, you haven't written much but enough to bring feelings out in the open, maybe you're writing for you, waiting to see if anyone gives you a hint of how it is.

Hope you don't mind me adding another review.

Posted 10 Years Ago


What is there to say? I feel like an intruder. I would like to see this as a novel.
ATB
Alex.

Posted 10 Years Ago


I enjoyed these words and just lately I lost my little brother. Sure we had good memories but we had trouble. Too strong minded individuals who lived together always brought our words with fist's and when the tough got going I could ask no other at my side. Life and Light!
TT-TTO-NI-K
Elk

Posted 10 Years Ago


the acidic grit of life wells in my throat and my eyes as I read this. It is gripping, brutally honest, and wrenching to my soul. Your words, despite my bullet proof shield, find all the weakness in my defense system, and go to the bone. I was born in 65 and now live in NM, about 25 -30 minutes from SF - but it was the poem and not the location that knocked the wind out of me. Formidable writing.

Posted 10 Years Ago


nice work on your poem...one can feel that emotional depth of memories reflected upon and holding one to your thoughts...life and the harshness of realities can make for those interestingly written thoughts...

nice...

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on October 25, 2008
Last Updated on May 14, 2010
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holly
holly

near Cleveland, OH



About
Do we get to choose who we are, or are we limited by where we live, how we grow up, what we do to earn money? My unchosen facts: I'm old, live in the eastern Mid-West US, grew up with a huge chip on m.. more..

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