for We Write Poems prompt #18 Need to know basis
Although the prompt suggested that we keep a certain individual in mind, or a group, this poem is not so much aimed at anyone in particular but rather, a mindset or attitude. When I realized where the poem was going, I almost scrapped it, but decided against that and to just let it be. The teacher in me has a hard time, sometimes, taking a back seat.
What You Need To Know
I am an observer, seeing beyond immediate
horizons, making note of what dances out there,
unseen by others. Have daily trained myself
to look at a slant, for what lies in open or canted
spaces, pauses in faces, eyes that look sideways,
above or beyond, but never into my own.
I am a maker, a marker of words, laying them down
so they might speak their truth to any who would lean
in to listen. Silence is not a foe, but friend, second ear
that hears, holds, then hands back what it grasps,
sometimes in the darkness, just before sleep.
And I am a child in search of a swing, a go-cart,
sunshine, lightning and thunder to be watched
through window, on knees pressed into back of couch,
sidewalk hopscotch, and music I alone imagine
that dances to colors that excite inner eye, and well
up from deep within my soul.
What I know about you is that you turn away from any
truth that doesn’t sound like your own voice. What is
different hits you as wrong, and choice is not something
offered, but strongly dictated. The songs you hear must be
played only in your key, usually B flat, and only that in beat
that allows feet to march along ruts already fashioned.
That you hide behind masks, under well worn hats hung
on a nail at back doorway. To be easily retrieved to hide
any weakness, fear of vulnerability, inadequacies, chance
pimples of any and all imperfections.
You will always close drapes at first sign of lightning
and thunder, wash away child’s play on sidewalk, miss
colors of rainbows, and slide your eyes from what lingers
on any horizon. And, what you need to know is that
you will never know the me, that stands right here
in front of, alongside, and behind you.
Elizabeth Crawford 9/8/10