Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Woman in black

black mourning dress drapes
slim frame like gossamer mantilla 
failing to hide sparkle in brown eyes 
spring in step walking along the road

carrying small bag, she smiles rummaging
contents – lipstick case, wallet, keys, camera
and map – always the map of city. 
finding it, unfolds it slowly like precious

love letter, perusing every inch, line,  
bumps, veins, grooves, towers, walls
smoothing and checking hours, schedules
no detail escapes her warm inquisitive fingers   

burdened with caring for an ailing
spouse, she now stumps city’s streets
like young girl rediscovering a lover
wanting to get lost in his warm belly, deep tunnels
so vibrant and intriguing, making her forget

white walls with disinfectant smell   
memories of spouse’s death wish, 20 years long
when struck with paralysis, he became half a man  
never letting her forget he was once that man.

she now fidgets with gold band in ring finger
just 4 more months until I can wear bright
summer clothes, she says.  Pin sunflowers
straw hat, butterfly brooch in silky dress.

waving the map, I watch her board red bus   
window seat, she presses against murky glass   
breasts heaving against engine's pulse
she breathes in sweat, dirt from lover’s arms,  
her ardor greater each passing day.  








Author's Note:    Posted for D'Verse Poets Pub - OpenLinkNight.    Doors open Tuesday (every Tuesday) at 3pm EST.  See you there~ 

Real life experiences fascinate me so I took a widow's story and gave it my own interpretation.  It is customary for some cultures to wear mourning clothes (of either black or white) for one year.

47 comments:

  1. very nice...i can feel her..coming off the death of the lover and wanting to get lost in the city...surreal at points but i imagine it similar in her position as well...very cool write heaven

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  2. Beautiful write, Heaven. Very real.

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  3. Very interesting subject matter. This is an area people never think about. You captured beautifully the freedom and eros of being alive and receptive to every sensation - juxtaposed with the context of being obligated to someone who cannot be where they are.

    I know of what I speak - even if it isn't clear - and this was perfect.

    Well done, Mosk

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  4. Here sensations really shined through with each line from you. As she goes to get lost after such a cost, very nice romantic tale, cya as I end my wail.

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  5. Thanks Brian and MZ - I appreciate it.

    Mosk - How perceptive of you. Yes, I wanted to show the other face of the "black widow" if you wish. I met her just over the weekend and thought her life story was interesting enough to share it. Thanks for the visit ~

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  6. This is beautiful...I love the way she wants to get lost in the city...like a young girl rediscovering a lover, wanting to get lost in his warm belly, deep tunnels...awesome write..one of my favorite of yours.

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  7. I love doing things like this. Creating scenes, characters, situations- even better when it's something you've seen and then put your own take on the story. You did a fantastic job here, love the way you wrote this up, thanks

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  8. Another case where learning to 'love and let go' will help...

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  9. you brought her emotions out perfectly...bravo.

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  10. powerful write...being the "sick" spouse I often imagine the pain and longing my partner feels being the caretaker...there are days I'm sure he would like to follow a map to anywhere but here...and then the days when here is the only place he wants to be.

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  11. It is hard to be the caretaker, but the closeness of death can bring people closer together.

    But oh how we long to run from death into the grittiness of life.

    Nicely done.

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  12. The true discovery of self after having experienced all the hard context that life can provide. A very thoughtful rendition of a complex human condition.

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  13. Love this scenario, Heaven.
    What a trip! What a story- beautiful and sad

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  14. It is interesting how different cultures view mourning and also time changes it too. Once everyone was expected to wear black for the funeral, now, people say don't mourn my passing, celebrate my life in cheer.
    A very lovely write from you on a very tender subject.

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  15. I love how her black garb failed to hide the sparkle in her eyes.... that said a thousand different things to me... so emotional, so intense, absolutely beautiful Heaven. Him constantly reminding her that he wasn't always a paralytic, that once he was vibrant and strong.... I can't possibly know what someone like that must feel, but somewhere on the edge of what I think dances the thought that if I were him I would be exactly as you described him. Beautiful poem of a beautiful woman, a beautiful moment of her day....

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  16. Oh! the visuals of this poem go deep. They are beautiful, heartfelt.

    This one is a keeper! Haunting, too.

    Lady Nyo

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  17. Wildly great turn at the end. This is the God awful truth. So back and forth all the way through, never a dull read here in this poem. Thanks.

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  18. such an interesting take on the widow... filled with great story and images. I wondered if she was on to her next kill...

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  19. Moving and vivid... I love the ending.

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  20. Wow. What an emotionally vivid poem! I could feel her breathing in life after suffocating in her obligations for so long.

    BTW, I love you blog background!

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  21. Fascinating take, Heaven. You put us into that woman's life, her hopes and sorrows, seamlessly. My boss years ago had a wife for whom he was the caretaker--they were amazingly close, yet still, his eyes were full of all the things in this poem. Excellent writing.

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  22. very creative depiction of grief. love the modern fresh tone of this piece Heaven. well done!

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  23. You tell a vivid story - really, of hope. The woman's spirit has not been crushed, just lying in wait. You feel that she will almost burst on the first day of her new outfit.

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  24. such sadness woven through these words, all dressed up in relief. losing yourself in the anonymity of the city to deal with the intimacy of death...

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  25. Thank you for the wonderful comments.


    Yes, Mark, I think she will. Thanks for your insight.

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  26. Heaven your poems are so wonderful and you really bring us into your poems with your words and how strong they are. I love reading your work and how excellent it is thank you
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/09/13/a-new-life-begins/

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  27. the role of caregiver is a powerful one, even after the separation. i liked your sense of scene here very much. rediscovering spoke here to me.

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  28. Heaven I liked the way you slowly revealed the whole story.

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  29. Its sad yet so beautiful and full of hope..Great write up

    You always rock...

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  30. Ah, I felt her heady anticipation of freedom, of being receptive to life and love again.

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  31. Exquisite poem-- I haven't seen or thought of the word mantilla in a very long time-- evocative, rich, compelling! xxxj

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  32. painted such a vivid image, this really walked into my thoughts. Lovely write ~ Rose

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  33. I found this very evocative, sad and strong and also affirming. You capture much of a life in a short poem.

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  34. The imagery is vivid ... had to read it several times to take it all in :) LOVE IT Heaven :)

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  35. I think you underestimate yourself, Heaven from Canada. I did not feel like I was reading something a new writer wrote. the story flowed well filled with emotion and the anticipation built to the final end which summed it up nicely. Expressed very well! really enjoyed this!

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  36. Wow this is so wonderful -- her breasts heaving to the engine's pulse and her mind finding her so young again - so wanting to live...loved it..bkm

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  37. Belo! Intenso! Sensual...
    Cada palavra é uma doce caricia deslizando suavemente na pele!


    Beijos...
    AL

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  38. "like young girl rediscovering a lover
    wanting to get lost in his warm belly, deep tunnels"

    Great lines there, and this is a very creative idea. Such a strange thing to imagine, but this is very well done :)

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  39. I think you wove a fascinating story! She has waited a long time to start anew. Great poem.

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  40. Anonymity and intimacy perfectly depicted, well done!

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  41. this is beautifully written! as usual, your writing never disappoints.

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  42. 20 years is a long long time. I say she's earned the bounce in her step and the ardor of her love.

    Quite a phenomenal poem! I love your imagination and detail.

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  43. It's like reading a painting. Well done.

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  44. I enjoy poems which are stories to. You created her vividly.

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  45. This poem is so sensual. I can SMELL it!I feel her cultural enforced imprisonment. It is beautiful Heaven.

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Thanks for your visit and comments ~ I appreciate them ~