Monday, April 9, 2018

Emily, 1919

Hello, brother Statue.
You are glorious, your war never over,
yet even the lawn rises in spite of your noble pose.

The trenches here are manned with daffodils.
I have felt them, gobbed with afternoon sun, 
drunk as sailors on the stuff. 

Did you know I was in love once? For five days.
There was an administrator, and the way she spoke, 
with those hard R's and soft K's,

I longed for her interview
and to offer my responses, as I do for the daffs, 
but inside, and without words.

By the end of the week she was gone, like your comrades I suppose.
Now you have new ones--
with avid wings and so they must be angels.
Go to the light, brother Statue. 
I've heard that said.

Dr. Bigelow will unwrap me tomorrow
and....then? Why, then I will be twenty-two again,
and gather my cook books and crochet from their grave-boxes.
If I find your comrades, I will kiss them for you.

Then, I might even hire a car.
My hair wild from the wind, I'll just show up, 
like one of your homing pigeons with a message.

Brother Statue, if you hear an opening door, a hard R and a soft K,
be gentleman enough, old friend, 
to turn--discreetly--away.  
________


For Izy's Out Of Standard: "Waiting for...."

 

17 comments:

S said...

"Why, then I will be twenty-two again,
and gather my cook books and crochet from their grave-boxes."

I love that section.

Kerry O'Connor said...

And there I was saying just the other day there is already a poem about daffodils! You just showed me there are never enough poems about daffodils.
I feel that you have embodied the statue of Izy's prompt but included so much more, or outside the picture, with reference to fallen soldiers. My favourite line is If I find your comrades I will kiss them.

Sherry mentioned that your poetry is on fire this month, and I agree.. hard to keep up but so inspiring. Watch out - soon I'll be quoting you!

L C Folks said...

This is such a gentle poem, I especially like the lines
"I longed for her interview and to offer my responses, as I do for the daffs, but inside, and without words." and the final (to me) connecting lines
"if you hear an opening door, a hard R and a soft K,be gentleman enough, old friend, to turn--discreetly--away."

Cloudia said...

Powerful open. then powerful all the way through. Yes, there are other poems about daffodils, and love and.... but you put your stamp on this generation, Shay

Vivian Zems said...

Love the hard R and soft K - a strong poem.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

I like the voice you're channeling here much more than the I heard from the undulate graves. A century plus one year since the end of the War--short and long enough to make that waiting more than angelic. I got lost a bit with Dr. Bigelow, a hundred years later the bandage is still coming off? There's a gentleness to the timeshatter of this, a mercy.

Margaret said...

I admire a woman soldier's voice, (we should have more statues of military women, right?) and the reference to the cookbooks and crochet does date it back - the idea if daffodils filling the trenches is awesome (their symbolism is rebirth)

Gillena Cox said...

Luv your daffodils drunk with sun, ah yes in life there are indulgences

much love...

Anonymous said...

There is a gentleness of spirit to this that really tugs at the heartstrings. A simple acceptance of what has happened perhaps. Lovely writing Shay.

Kim Russell said...

Brilliantly Shay! I especially love the lines:
'The trenches here are manned with daffodils.
I have felt them, gobbed with afternoon sun'
and
'My hair wild from the wind, I'll just show up,
like one of your homing pigeons with a message'.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh, so brilliant, those responses "but inside, and without words." Wow! I loved this story, and smiled at "I was in love once - for five days."

Toni Spencer said...

Yes ma'am you are on fire. I love the daffodils. Never enough poems about them as far as I am concerned. And why do we not have statues to women who served in the military? But the line, I was in love once - for five days....I know that feeling all to well.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Wonderful monologue! It sounds like her ... and you. And, arousing my further curiosity, it led me to the website of the Emily Dickinson Museum, with all sorts of interesting reading. Thank you.

Isadora Gruye said...

I love that you turned the waiting into an internal dialogue of sorts (internal only because the statue never answers back). It reminds me of how I talk to things while anxious or waiting for something. The writing itself is quite lovely. I love the specific-ness of the hard r and soft k. And the chosen phrasing of the narrator, how he/she shortens daffodils to "daffs" and how he/she says "Brother Statue" ...it reminds of that Of Montreal song, Butterscotching Mr. Lynn.

Well done and viva la!

grapeling said...

yes, beautiful and sad ~

hedgewitch said...

There seems here the peculiar peace that comes to the graveyards of war, and the statues of dead heroes...an absence rather than a presence of anything as soft as a human, a place for flowers and angel butterflies...yet those who walk/wake here know the importance of speech, of emphasis, of context and tone...I am not sure of all the moving parts involved, but the ride was fantastic.

Fireblossom said...

I guess I was way too subtle, as nobody got that the speaker is blind and hoping to regain her sight when Dr. Bigelow unwraps the bandages. Then she can read her cook books, drive a car, go see the administrator she only knows by the sound of her voice. She doesn't see the daffs, she feels them, she can't see the pigeons on the statue, she only hears their wings fluttering. In a larger sense it is about a world trying to regain normalcy in 1919. The poem has nothing to do with Emily Dickinson.