A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Vanessa Daou

"Autumn Perspective"

Now, moving in, cartons on the floor
The radio playing to bare walls
Picture hooks left stranded
In the unsoiled squares where paintings were
And something reminding us
This is like all other moving days;
Finding the dirty ends of someone else's life
Hair fallen in the sink, a peach pit
And burned-out matches in the corner;
Things not preserved, yet never swept away
Like fragments of disturbing dreams
We stumble on all day.
In ordering our lives, we will discard them
Scrub clean the floorboards of this our home
Lest refuse from the lives we did not lead
Become, in some strange, frightening way, our own
And we have plans that will not tolerate
Our fears-- a year laid out like rooms
In a new house--the dusty wine glasses
Rinsed off, the vases filled, and bookshelves
Sagging with heavy winter books
Seeing the room always as it will be
We are content to dust and wait
We will return here from the dark and silent
Streets, arms full of books and food
Anxious as we always are in winter
And looking for the Good Life we have made

I see myself then: tense, solemn
In high-heeled shoes that pinch
Not basking in the light of goals fulfilled
But looking back to now and seeing
A lazy, sunburned, sandaled girl
In a bare room, full of promise
And feeling envious

Now we plan, postponing, pushing our lives forward
Into the future--as if, when the room
Contains us and all our treasured junk
We will have filled whatever gap it is
That makes us wander, discontented
From ourselves

The room will not change:
A rug, or armchair, or new coat of paint
Won't make much difference;
Our eyes are fickle
But we remain the same beneath our suntans
Pale, frightened
Dreaming ourselves backward and forward in time
Dreaming our dreaming selves

I look forward and see myself looking back

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

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