Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You left. (a poem)

I have a memory of a moment with the man who promised to love me, once upon a time, and who took what time we had and burned it into the retina of the past view where I was the victim and he was never ever the victor.

Those days are gone and now, when they arise on the patina of the past, shiny with the rain falling, I smile and let the muse have her way, eagerly awaiting to see what she has brought as a gift.

Some days, I am surprised by her offerings. Like an archaeologist, she digs into memory's bank, withdrawing images and sounds and moments in time connecting now to then in a wonderful weave of colour and sights and sounds.

Sometime in the past few days, I heard a snipped of an interview on the radio with a Canadian song-writer who was performing in Banff that evening. Before I had to leave the car I didn't catch his name, or the name of the song he was singing. I did catch a line in his song that caught my imagination -- "I found your sweater and took it apart thread by thread".

Imagination caught up to memory -- of a moment in time when Conrad, the man who wanted to take my life, was angry with me for something -- there was seldom a 'real' reason for his anger -- I was just 'supposed' to know.

On this day, I was at the park walking with Ellie and he drove up in his shiny silver Mercedes sports car, roof down. He didn't open the car door, he leapt over it. (He was into les grands gestes) He stormed towards where Ellie and I stood on the ravine edge watching his arrival. He'd phoned me to ask where I was. I always told him.

When he was several feet away he proceeded to berate me for some imagined transgression. I stood silently listening to him, my mind numb, my body wilfully blocking off all feeling. When he was done, he turned to walk away. "We're through," he said as a parting shot. And I sighed a giant breath in relief.

I watched him walk away.

He was wearing a pink argyle sweater that day. I watched him walk away and he stopped, turned back towards where Ellie and I still stood silently on the ridge where we had been walking. He walked back towards me. I braced myself for more of his vitriolic. But he didn't yell. He simply walked up to me, took off his sweater and shoved it into my hands. "Here, you might need this," he said. And then he walked away.

But not for good. No, his walking away for good wouldn't come until I closed the door on that chapter of my life so that I could dance freely in the sunshine of today.

I followed the muse this morning, linked to the comment heard on the radio. She lead me here, to this place where I am free. Free to associate without the pain of the past trapping me in its angry maw.

In the muse's flow, I immerse myself in the beauty of my day and let my imagination have free rein as I unravel the threads and find the joy in living fearlessly in the rapture of now.

You Left

You left
behind a sweater
on the closet floor
scrunched up
remnants of you
I pulled
each thread
a part
of me unravelling
with its weave and warp
on the ocean
of memories
upon which I drift
for a reason

you left behind a sweater

I pulled each thread apart.


Maureen said...

Knowing your story, dear friend, this poem has deep meaning. It's well written, its visual imagery strong, as is the feeling it conveys. What matters is you held on to the strongest thread and used it to reweave a narrative uniquely your own. Blessings.

Claudia said...

ugh - this is deep write, even more when reading the background story...pulling the remnants apart, sometimes we have to..

katdish said...

That's how we grieve sometimes, isn't it? It is an unraveling. Beautiful, Louise.

S. Etole said...

each thread until freedom is complete ...

Glynn said...

An article of clothing tells a story. And it aches.

Anonymous said...

it feels like pulling thread apart. and yet, in time we can look back and see that the yarn was used in the making of our tapestry.

Diane Walker said...

I love the connection between "a part" and "apart"

Ruth said...

It is a beautiful feat to live in the present with this past as a friend. To be able to tug on these threads and feel their meaning in you, and not be defeated by them now, is a triumph, a joy. You have written the whole post beautifully. I could see him clearly, wince in his presence.

I lift my coffee mug to you in celebration of your freedom.

Anonymous said...


knowing how well you write, usually, and knowing this issue for you it is clear this piece was written when the emotion was flowing. That emotion, as it spills on the page, draws the reader in. As a piece of writing - in terms of flow, diction and writing style, this is far from your best work ..... and maybe that is why it is so powerful, because putting it down was not about creating pretty prose.

editing this piece will take it from good to ... fantastic, and when you do, it deserves to be published widely