Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dear John Letter From A Broken Man (A Persona Poem)

Untitled by Frank Horvat (1962)

Don’t cry over me, girl.
In these modern days
There’s a cover-up for every scar.
I wrote these words myself,
A melody to rise and fall
Inside your mind, and then I was gone.
The days keep spinning us along,
Two visionaries whose eyes have
Grown too weary for travel,
Or maybe I walked too far ahead
While you chose to stand among
The proverbial field of wildflower.
Either way, Im already gone.
I sit in a room alone, an empty box
Surmised of dusty curtains and fireplace;
It’s just me and the cigarettes I smoke.
There’s no soft skin around my neck
The way I wanted your arms to rest.
There’s hardwood floors with scuffs,
A vague roadmap unreadable,
too-cold feet, dark sky between
The window blinds, and a forlorn feeling
That maybe you can forgive me
Although you probably won’t:
The goodbye was a brutal unending,
To say I once loved you for the things
You carried, smiling eyes, bright soul.
Then ask you to forget my number
In the same month of sex-filled Sundays,
To cause us both to miss a memory
That only really ever existed between
Fantastic walls built of the sweetest words.
But when you’ve been hurt,
And girl, I have been hurt too much,
You’d rather miss the world,
You’d rather lose the only girl
Than to fear the brow-beating
Of another symbolic father;
Than to be afraid you’d beat her brow too.
Understand me when I say
I did love you, and that is why I had to leave.
There’s no shady blow, no nighttime smoke
In this room where the only companion
Is the sad truth of an undoing of two.
The only thing left in my lap are two
Nervously-wringing hands, hands that could
Have touched you in all the wrong ways
Had I allowed them certain freedom to throw
The stones my heart carried.  Such heavy things,
An apothecary of unrealized dreams
To bow the ribs of my chest,
Medicine-bottle shelf for a broken man.

I wrote this poem with the Persona prompt at dVerse but didn't link up in time.  Still wanted to share it though.  :)  

I tried to write from the viewpoint of a man who has told a woman goodbye, but with reason that he was afraid he'd hurt her.  Perhaps he had demons in his own past.  Perhaps he was callous when he said goodbye.  Maybe he told her he never wanted to speak to her again and she just didn't understand why.

Maybe I excavated my memory for this, maybe it's not personal experience at all.  Maybe someone, somewhere might find it and read it and think it's about them when it's not.  Maybe it is about someone else altogether...or no one at all.

Or, maybe the muse just struck me.  And I wrote.

I suppose that's the mystery in any piece of poetry.  The words could be real.  They could be fantasy.  They could be lies, truth, something lived inside a dream.  

What matters isn't how it's written or what's said...but in what the reader finds inside their own interpretation of it.


  1. this captivated my sensibilities. in earlier relationships i harbored unspeakable pain and anguish of an abandoned child. you kno; the perceived, never been loved, abandoned, not deserving of love therefore the unintended insidiousness of sabotaging a relationship by pushing it away. this, because not knowing myself or loving myself.

    in my many years of introspection, inquisitivenous as to 'why', i now have a survivalist perspective...still learning to love: how to, accepting embraces, and learning to understand the universal expanse of love

    like i said, this touched me


  2. "Two visionaries whose eyes have grown too weary for travel" that resonates with me! This poem really captures the feelings of a man afraid to love, afraid to harm that bright heart, those shining eyes. Yet hurt her anyway, by leaving. Sigh. Well captured, Stacy. Always so nice to see you posting in the Pantry.

  3. This is amazing!! I can feel the raw & intense emotions.

  4. I feel the intensity of this, the depth of feeling; and yes, it doesn't matter if it is true in any way at expresses something real, painful, and very deep.

  5. There is so much here to decipher but, I can feel the the heart of pain. I have picked out this part as it speaks so loudly to me through your words.

    Two visionaries whose eyes have
    Grown too weary for travel,
    Or maybe I walked too far ahead
    While you chose to stand among
    The proverbial field of wildflower.

  6. You have made it believable and moving.

  7. This is a wonderful persona to write from... Somehow I always feel that something gets better if it's written from someone who is far from yourself... Maybe that is challenging the trend of only writing from yourself... I'm sorry you did not link up, it would have been a wonderful addition...

    I love what you did to describe the ambiguity, the love and self-loathing and I think the balance of what would hurt the most... it made it very credible to me...

  8. You really created a masterful poem here.....I love how you easily spoke from his lonely place of hurt...

  9. lovely to see you at PU Stacy with a wonderful write as always...the space in the poem is dark, sad and perhaps with a little bit of freedom and relief ?

  10. An apothecary of unrealized dreams... an excellent poem, the darkness shone through.


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is so appreciated. Your thoughts and critiques are always welcome! I will be by to visit your blog soon!