Hole In the Heart

 Hole in the Heart

The other kids in that family
wore clothes that bore the limp
of hard wringing, their mother’s scrubbed
shouts, homemade
spaghetti sauce, but little Dolly’s pale dresses glowed, ruffles tottering
so sweetly about the hem, pink smocking–Dolly for Dorothy–which was why, she thought,
the saddest bouquet at the funeral parlor gathered rosebuds,
their card embroidered pink, the word

Her lips a rosebud, though her mother looked almost
as waxen, there at the back
of that dark room, her nose pinker and somehow longer
than she’d ever seen it, as if beginning
to melt, though how she saw
Mrs. K she wasn’t sure,
she tried so hard
not to look at anything, embarrassed not
by the face of grief but by ongoing
life, her own skin the rough smooth peel
of unripe fruit, the only crimping at the knees,
the imprint of grass stain.
They’d been so afraid of laughing, going in,
as if it were something they were doomed to,
she and Celeste, and when they stepped outside,
they walked wayward in the sun’s
blind daze till Celeste, who always knew best, said,
“I thought sure you were going to–”
and she protested, “no, I wasn’t–”

Drafty poem for With Real Toads open platform.  Pic is mine as well as poem, all rights reserved. 

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8 Comments on “Hole In the Heart”

  1. Polly Says:

    So poignant K. x

  2. Suyash Jha Says:

    wow … very well put 🙂

  3. M Says:

    one of the features I most admire of your writing, k, is the attention to detail, the apt turn, and the way you let us imagine the world inside the pen, after the words are done. ~

  4. Brendan Says:

    You capture so well the awkwardness of childhood encountering emotions greater than it understands — something embarassing and funny and claustrophobic about grief, a performance one has not yet been taught the rules to. The ending for me dissipated somewhat, but perhaps that was the point — dispelled from the sanctum, back out into the safe and known, there is great relief in simply resuming the known routines. I agree with Michael, such wonderful inlay of detail.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Hi Brendan, yes I am not sure of the end. This is really more of a story than a poem. I worked on it in a strange disjointed way due to my travel and work schedule this week and am not sure that I ended up with the best version. Thanks for your kind comment. k.

      On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 5:10 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:


  5. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    This is fine story-telling, where the scene is given through impressions and the characters described through their emotions.

  6. This is vivid, beautiful and somewhat sad at the same time. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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