The Gate Was Open

fingertips trace the suede
that swaddles the comfy place
we’d sit and watch old movies
leaving imprints of my identity
across where you’d lay your arm

the kitchen table where we shared
our meals and laughter from the day or
serious conversations on world
events with stifled yawns from me ~
sits barren

looking sideways to the crooked frame
hanging on the wall; giggles remembered
and stamped feet, how you never hung it
straight ~ the memories of ‘us’ ~ just
simple things

the gate not mended; the grout worn and
fallen; rubbish stacked behind the shed
it would be cleared ‘one day’ ~ things undone
things left; importance now ~ very little
within our walls of home, love held
between four fences ~ that had value

we broke down, distracted by so many things
sweet madness; sweet love of ours
disappeared between the palings
as you drifted out of reach and
that’s what mattered

now with suitcases
at my feet ~ my sweaty hand grips
the handle of the unpainted
door ~ the unfinished
I must say adieu

©JMTacken2013
********************************
I have swapped over the last two paragraphs on advice from Grace – also placed ‘and’ instead of & advice from Victoria – thank you I feel it works much better now.

Below is Brian Miller’s (from DVerse) edit for this – I welcome critique, I feel fortunate to be supported in my writing. I have put Brian’s version below so you can see the difference between the two.

fingertips trace suede
that swaddles the comfy place
we’d sit & watch old movies
imprints of my identity

across where, you’d lay your arm

the kitchen table where we shared
meals & laughter from the day or
serious conversations on world
events with stifled yawns from me ~
sits barren

sideways, the crooked frame
hanging on the wall; giggles remembered
& stamped feet, how you never hung it
straight ~ the memories of ‘us’ ~

simple things

the gate not mended; the grout worn &
fallen; rubbish stacked behind the shed
it would be cleared ‘one day’ ~ things undone
things left; important once,now
very little
within our walls of home, love
between four fences, that had value
what mattered; with suitcases
at my feet

my sweaty hand grips the handle of the unpainted
door unfinished, we broke down

distracted by so many things
sweet madness and love
disappeared between the palings
as you drifted out of reach &
I must say

adieu

********************************

A Fictional write for dVerse and Open Link Week 112.  I would appreciate any critique.

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46 thoughts on “The Gate Was Open

      • ok, here are notes…suggestions i would give someone i was editting…

        fingertips trace the suede (cut the)
        that swaddles the comfy place
        we’d sit & watch old movies
        leaving imprints of my identity (might change leaving to in)
        across where you’d lay your arm (comma? period? put a stanza break here to transition)

        the kitchen table where we shared
        our meals & laughter from the day or (cut our, redundant)
        serious conversations on world
        events with stifled yawns from me ~
        sits barren

        looking sideways to the crooked frame (cut looking, comma after sideways, cut to the)
        hanging on the wall; giggles remembered
        & stamped feet, how you never hung it
        straight ~ the memories of ‘us’ ~ just (cut just)(stanza break)

        simple things

        the gate not mended; the grout worn &
        fallen; rubbish stacked behind the shed
        it would be cleared ‘one day’ ~ things undone
        things left; importance now ~ very little (important once, now very little)
        within our walls of home, love held (cut held)
        between four fences ~ that had value (comma)
        that’s what mattered; now with suitcases (cut that’s)(cut now)
        at my feet

        my sweaty hand grips the handle of the unpainted
        door ~ the unfinished (cut the)(comma)(move we broke down up to this line
        we broke down, (stanza break)

        distracted by so many things
        sweet madness; sweet love of ours (sweet twice, might make it sweet madness & love) (cut of ours)
        disappeared between the palings
        as you drifted out of reach & (cut & as you have it below)
        & I must say

        adieu

      • Brian thank you so very much!! This is wonderful – I so do require this help. I changed the last stanzas due to Grace’s advice – I shall now re-do – if that is ok with you? 🙂

  1. This is lovely in many ways RM. The sense of lose is very strong. The sense of the need to move on even stronger. Well done.

  2. You know, I think this might be my favorite poem of yours!! Loved all of the details you included…the subtle signs along the way that the relationship was not perfect. Such as the yawning during discussions and the not hanging the straight, undoubtedly all symbolic for deeper things than these. It seems like the gate was open for a LONG time before the ending. I was awed by your PERFECT title.

  3. How sad to leave when things are left unfinished and undone ~

    For editing, I would suggest tigthening up the details and leaving the last one, you with your suitcase, griping the handle of the unpainted door. I think the reader would have reached the conclusion that you are leaving and saying goodbye ~

    I have to commend you for the eye catching title & overall theme ~

    • Thank you SO much Grace (Heaven) thank you also for your critique, I see what you mean. I have a tendency to keep going instead of having a ‘punch line’ as it were, the last 11 lines could easily be switched around … in fact I think I shall do that underneath to see how it reads then. Appreciate your comments and critique. x

  4. When your lover has gone (for whatever reason) the places(s) you shared take on extra meaning, are filled with nostalgia, seem poignant. But grief has to be met head on, and you have to pick up your bag and put one foot in front of another – finding new places and new adventures! Life is short, and one must live it!

  5. There is a whimsy in the way the words are on the “page” that belies the heartbreak in the subtext– one realizes quickly that this goodbye has a “looking forward to the next chapter” coming. Not heavy, not sappy, this piece leaves us with anticipation of the new. Thanks for sharing ~peace, Jason

  6. You use of sensory details makes both the scene and the emotion so clear. When you write from that place of grief, it is so beautifully intense. My only suggestion would be to use and instead of &. But that’s a personal preference for me…especially for a more serious subject.

  7. Victoria – thank you and yes I tossed around the and /and the & for some time, I just thought it was too wordy and could condense a little by using the & symbol. I don’t normally, but I do see what you mean when writing on a more serious subject. Thank you for your kind comment and your critique – very much appreciated.

    • Thanks lovely – yes putting yourself in the shoes of the ‘subject’ does make it more meaningful, I am pleased that you enjoyed them. xx 🙂

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