Remembered Bargain

Remembered Bargain

I promised with all my soul
that if I found her whole
I would never rail again,
never again complain
about any personal injustice.

Greenwich Street bore witness
to my brain’s barter with what
always seems to hover “up”
in a wade through desperation
where, as down a well, any gradation
of light is a second coming,
the next second, coming.

I found her and
wept thanks.

But mind moves on and it will rail–
a track-bound train, a wind-ruled sail,
its promises shrugged out of like a shawl
(forgotten on a chair
somewhere over there)
until some switch in inner film’s unroll

takes me to those blurred bricks, veered eaves
where my mind, on its knees, said “please,”
and I say again, thank you
for then and now and then to come too;
though derailed by weaknesses, and by strengths,
I whisper thanks.



A sort of drafty poem for my own prompt on Real Toads about exchanges, barters, promises, markets.  The pic above is of the 9/11 Memorial, also on Greenwich Street in downtown Manhattan. 


On a lighter note, I am very pleased to report that my new book DOGSPELL or Sally & Seemore & the Meaning of Mushki is out!  It is a sweet (I think) children’s novel, written (with some help from my dear departed Pearl) and much illustrated by me.  Great for any dog lover. Available on Amazon.  When at Amazon, check out my other books!  1 Mississippi, Going on Somewhere, Nose Dive, and Nice.  


Explore posts in the same categories: 9/11, New York City, poetry, Uncategorized

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24 Comments on “Remembered Bargain”

  1. Congratulations on Dogspell…I love that title!!

    This image captured me:

    “its promises shrugged out of like a shawl
    (forgotten on a chair
    somewhere over there)”


    Like the way you liken it to film unrolling…

    Excellent, K and thank you for the challenge!

  2. The pacing of the last two stanzas is so perfect for the mood. I felt like I was losing my breath as I read, and I could feel her why her mind was on her knees.

    And best of luck with Dogspell.

  3. What an intensety in the search, and that release when found. Having lost someone and find again, that sense must be one to return many many times.

  4. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    A person who has not been in the situation of a war zone, be it battle field or cityscape, cannot fully know the terror of looking for a loved one. The sights on the street in Nice brought me to tears for the suffering of the survivors (aren’t we all who have lived to see it?) And I feel a sense of dread, waking to each day, wondering what is to come next.

    Your poem, places me right into the scene, stark, terrifying.

  5. Brendan Says:

    Wasn’t Hermes, lord of roads, also the god of the lucky deal? There’s something magical in that boon, the coin’s flip coming down our way, the deal of the century, the motherlode, the Grail, achieved when we find that thing half-buried in dust, pull it free, and convince the seller it’s worth only what it looks like … or, to walk away from that found thing because its just too much, because we just don’t need it, only to wake in the middle of the night pierced by the recognition that it was EXACTLY what we needed or wanted most, perhaps because we turned our back on fate. I should know, I’ve watched my wife … Anyhoom, all of the transactional analysis is there in your poem, where the art of the deal is the art of the poem. To find it, grasp the lysis, hold it for a second as you do here, what else can we do but whisper “thanks”? And thanks for the challenge, and congrats on your latest book. It’s amazing you keep up such a full life and continue knocking ’em out.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. Thanks, Brendan. The last books have been rather old manuscripts that I’ve finally just “finished” as it were, the main writing have been done some time ago. Thanks for kind comment and your wonderful poem. k.

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    Love is a constant bargaining with fate, especially parental love, though of course this doesn’t have to apply merely to that, but it has that intensity for me that only comes from responsibility as well as love. Very real and immediate, k–an agile and strong piece.

  7. Powerful words!! Kudos on your book. You’re very talented. ❤️

  8. Sherry Marr Says:

    I especially like the promises shrugged off like a shawl and forgotten. Congrats on your book, Karin. Any book with dogs in it has my vote!!!!!

  9. Helen Dehner Says:

    “Dogspell” ~~ great title for what I’m certain is a great book! During a visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum last summer I stood in the room with the thousands of photos and wept. I cannot imagine losing a loved one, a friend, a stranger to that kind of violence. And it continues.

  10. Jim Says:

    I like this, K, I like NYC (was there May 31 this year). I remember the village two ways. First was the leisurely walk up from Battery Park to the Union Station. I stopped and enjoyed and dilly-dallied things and areas more than Mrs. Jim and Karen. I also would get out of breath so I slowed and smelled some daisies. The next Monday my cardiologist would have me in for what turned out to be another stent implant.
    Second was the Village Halloween Evening Parade of 2003. I’ve never experienced a parade like this one. We, the same three, were there for Karen to run the NYC Marathon the next day. (We caught her via the subway five times and walked the last stop from Harlem over to the Central Park finish line in plenty of time.)

  11. The wept and whispered thanks in this was what made me stop for breath. It was needed, and I felt a peace in this — memories of beauty that will not fade even with the violence we won’t forget.

  12. margaret Says:

    its promises shrugged out of like a shawl
    (forgotten on a chair
    somewhere over there)

    That is beautiful as is the whole poem. A draft? I don’t think so.

  13. Polly Says:

    Love ‘brain’s barter’ amongst lots of other great lines – and I’ve just ordered my compy of ‘Dogspell’ – what a great title 😀

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