In Which Memory Replaces Reason

I remember watching her
as she stood on a beach
of crushed pink coral, bathed
in sea spray as waves

batter the reef, the dry salt
leaving designs on her skin,
like threads in the pattern
of a life unafraid to live.

I remember watching her,
lounging at a wrought iron
table in a New Orleans courtyard,
a plume of smoke escapes

open lips, empty bottle of rare
wine in one hand, glass held
with two fingers of the other,
ready to shatter upon the bricks.

I remember watching her
as she dances barefoot down
cobblestone streets — oblivious
to rain, thunder and onlookers —

while the music plays on
in her mind, refusing to
accept she is no longer
the princess of the ball.

Each memory a stain, an incident
never to be discussed.


For the Sunday Whirl.

Shared at the Imaginary Garden and dVerse



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

16 responses to “In Which Memory Replaces Reason

  1. Often an encounter like this engenders mixed emotions of both horror and envy that they have something which you do not have…or ever will.

  2. Nothing lasts forever…

  3. I’ll be singing the The Last Dance in my head all day now. Lovely poem; good work, Mark.

  4. Anything written is all fiction–that being said, I thought this a well done poem. I would ask to reconsider keeping the last line. First because you have just done what you said you wouldn’t do and secondly, and more important, by ending the poem before with the ‘stain’ line you increase or lend a tension to the poem that resonates these idyllic images as being part of some bigger fiction.>KB

    • Thank you. As with most of your suggestions, I agree with this one as well. The last line was a bit forced, trying to get the word ‘incident’ to fit in there somehow. I do like the piece better without the line. Thanks again and always.

  5. Helen Dehner

    Bittersweet, lovely.

  6. Laurie Kolp

    To me, this speaks of alcoholism more than it does of love lost.

  7. Wow! Poignant. This really has me wondering about her. I was ready to think free spirit living her life on her terms until I reached the end.

  8. A free-spirit most definitely, Mark. I like this a lot.


  9. Each memory a stain… oh, this ended differently than I expected. Had to reread it and understand it in a new light. Well done.

  10. i dunno…i kinda like the last line as it throws this int a bit of wonder…the dancing ont he cobblestone in the rain was a cool scene until i read that and made me wonder if perhaps they had lost their mind a bit…which brought on sadness…

  11. Such a deep touch of heartache easily felt here by the reader.

  12. like threads in the pattern
    of a life unafraid to live.

    I love that line. Such emotion, beautiful work

  13. lucychili

    agree with others the poem feels light hearted then finishes with questions. well written.

  14. Those closing lines…so haunting. So well done, Mark. I’m a week behind in wordling, but am so glad I didn’t miss this!

  15. `each memory a stain’ – I love that!

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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