Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesday Poem

Departing the House of Your Former Life

Once you close that door, hear the click

of the latch, there’s no going back.

The single key is, from this day forward,

forever lost. You may run circles

around it, you may peer

into each window for as long as desired,

but entry is impossible. Best

to gather the few remaining flowers

before the garden lapses into ruin,

before bindweed takes over.

Fill your pockets with apples – they won’t

lumber from these branches again.

Oh, you believe still in a midsummer picnic

beneath this arbor -- cheese and a humble wine

tucked into gingham. Best to disavow all

you’ve abandoned inside this lathe & plaster

fortress, every root still clutching its

square inch of soil. Better to leave

and not return, not recall the accumulation

of broken beds, the last unshattered cup,

the wedding china. And a rock thrown

at a pane can do no good.

Unpin the solitary dress hung ragged

on the line, yank the numbers

from the siding, check the mailbox

for a final letter. No curtain wavers

and every candle is a wickless stub.

Not a soul to wave you on but your own.

--T. Clear 2010

Check out the other Tuesday Poets here.

Tuesday Poets is a New Zealand based blog

of perhaps 30 poets posting a new poem every Tuesday

on the masthead blog, plus many new poems

on individual blogs. A great group!


  1. Oh, T. I clasp my hands and bow my head. Thank you for this wise, wrenching and tender poem.

  2. you have captured it intricately and perfectly. I'm with Claire....

  3. Yes!

    After your comment re Cajan, I listened to a selection on Spotify. Wonderful energy, in that respect not unlike my own favourite; Ska.

  4. What a poem! I'm knocked out. Thank you T Clear. (I'll be back to this one.)

  5. sad, wise, lucid, true.
    thank you.
    i forgot wrenching; oh, you believe still....

  6. I have almost had a preview of that feeling: my study bookshelves are being replaced this week so I have had to take all my books down. There's a hollow space to relish now for a while before the new timber slots into place. I am very tempted to get rid of lots of books (can I? will I be able to?) and savour the space before it fills up again.

  7. Wow!

    I love the way 'Once' leads naturally into 'May' then 'Best' and 'Best' again, and 'Better' into 'No' and 'Not'. Beautiful rhythmic flow.