Self-Talk Matters

PAD Challenge #8  for Poetic Asides

For today’s prompt, write an agreement poem. There are a few obvious ways I see to approach this type of poem: 1. Write a poem in which there is an agreement made between two or more people, animals, or things; 2. Write a poem in which the narrator (or a character in the poem) agrees with everything–regardless of whether it’s beneficial to the person (or animal); or 3. Write a poem that is a contract (or proposed agreement) with the reader (a la Billy Collins). 

Okay, I confess this one had me stumped. Wasn’t at all clear about where or what to do with it. So, just started. What came out is long, and only in rough draft form. It will need future tweaking. And I only hope I can figure out how to do just that.

Self-Talk Matters

Okay, here’s the deal, the real
issue. It drives you nuts,
this self-destruct button
she keeps pushing. You know
there is nothing you can do,
say, give, to change that. She
told you, just the other day,
she will die by her own hand,
when she chooses, and that makes
both of you losers, in this dance,
you two keep doing.

                    “Yes, I agree, but…”

I know that you love her, will
always love her, for so many
complicated reasons. But, you
are only one old woman, with
too many seasons to go on hoping
for some miraculous opening,
some door you can both squeeze
through. It ain’t gonna happen. Give
it up, suck it up, turn your back, walk
away, and dammit, finally be
done with it.

“I can’t do that.”

Yes, you can, but you won’t, will
go right on choking on what
is inevitable. She isn’t stable.
Oh yah, for a while she faked it,
making you believe, now you cleave
to idea that it could happen again.
Can’t you see how long it’s been?
And it keeps getting worse, never

“Yes, I know, but…”

We both know you saved her life,

“And she saved mine.”

Oh, so that means you owe her?
I’d say that makes you even.

“You seem to forget, I didn’t
go back, she is the one who
who tracked me down, and how
much that must have cost her.”

To do what? Play this game
where both of you are lamed,
unable to reach a conclusion?


Maybe’s are nothing but thin air,
and meanwhile your hair keeps
getting grayer. Your prayers go
unanswered, and your heart
is giving out, or haven’t you

“Yes, all of that’s true, but now
you are choosing to skip over
one important fact.”

What, that you made some sort
of commitment? Now, you are going
to throw the God card at me, even
after all those long hard years
of total silence?

“You were there, didn’t object,
nor did you reject that commitment.
As a matter of fact, you completely
agreed, and we were both pleased
when asked to do so.”

Yah, but that was then,
this is now, and how do we bend,
how can we continue?

“That, my dear friend, is simple.
Just breathe in, deeply. After that
breath, we take the next step, whatever
it is, get on with being, just who we are,
and have been all along, letting it take us
as far as it can take us.”

Okay, I’ll agree that we must
continue this fight, but I retain
the right to come back, when pain
gets so bad, and sadness becomes
a sea that goes on forever. Lapping
away at whatever resolve you have
managed to gather.

“And I agree, you’ve got that right,
it is a fight, in which we have all been
battered. But, I am counting on you
to always come back, to remind me
that she, and we, are all that has
ever mattered.”

Elizabeth Crawford  11/8/10

About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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6 Responses to Self-Talk Matters

  1. Hey Pussycat, for someone who didn’t know. You did a wonderful write again. I love it. It seems different. I love that conversation with yourself, back and forth, back and forth….and so it goes. No real answers, it only continues….and sometimes that is the way it is. Whose sucking your energy? What do you have to give? What is required? Did you commit? Wow, really “big.” Powerful!

    Annell, lol, Pussycat? Took the day off today, did some running, and some errands. Needed a break from all of these words. And I didn’t know where this would go, and was almost afraid to find out. But, it went where it needed to and I am satisfied. Thanks for stopping and commenting,



  2. Irene says:

    Elizabeth, Beautifully done. The dialogue is amazing and rings so true. Thank you for writing this!

    And thank you for saying so, Irene. I’m never sure if people will dig where I’m going, or why I get where I end up. It makes sense to me, but that doesn’t mean it will make sense to anyone else. And this one was a bit scary, cause I really had no idea where it would end. It still needs some work, but that can come later.



  3. Mary says:

    Oh, it is probably late and I am probably tired, but it seems a fairly deep conversation with yourself, the kind many of us probaby have but few admit to. A strong write.

    Thank you Mary, I seem to have quite a few of them and often pieces and parts will and do find their way into my poetry. Don’t think I’ve ever written out the whole conversation as it was taking place though. This is a new one,



  4. A thought: Sometimes I have to say it out loud, before I can hear it.

    Oh yes, Annell, I totally agree. What I find even more telling is that many times, parts or pieces of what I say out loud, stick around, haunt me, if you like, until I write them down. That often becomes poetry and often makes it clearer and far more immediate. Somehow writing it down makes it real, even permanent.



  5. pamela says:

    This conversation eerily reminds me of someone from my past. Excellently done to the prompt.

    Thank you Pamela. I could actually hear two different voices in my head, both mine, only separated by tone and emotion. Found myself speaking aloud, as I was writing. I live alone, and that is sometimes a wonderful blessing. As well as a freedom beyond measure. lol,



  6. Diane T says:

    Some relationships even though painful, such as in the first poem, are so strong that a person just can’t walk away. All the self talk in the world just won’t make it happen. The poem drew me in and holds me there.

    Diane, I had to laugh when I read your comment. Way back, now over twenty years ago, near the beginnings of all of this, I wrote a piece that I titled, “Trying To Talk Myself Out of Something I am Already Into.” No matter the years, I can still go back and read it and know it holds my truth even now. Like you, I am drawn within the circumstances and they do not let go.



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