by Richard Vince

I sat there, staring out of the window
Or trying to hide, hoping the sofa
Would swallow me and allow me to be alone.

All those hours…
Fearful, mute days of red hot, icy eyes
Staring out over a home from home
That somehow suddenly became alien
As I retreated into myself.

She could always raise a smile though,
As determined as I was to resist.
Then it was songs and stories and
Ice cream, its coldness melting
My steely resolve to remain unmoved.

All those hours I wasted with my
Irrational fear add up to precious
Days I won’t be getting back;
Precious moments that now I would value
More than ever I imagined.

Her warm and loving smile, and her
Horrendously overacted dismay when
Being told of the latest scandal,
Are etched indelibly onto my memory.

I remember, too, the quiet whisper and
Emaciated figure of her last hours, but
Somehow cannot reconcile them with
The calming voice and reassuring arms
As she read me stories that are now
Inextricably linked with her.

Still I cannot find the words I wish
I had said in those last moments.
Perhaps I didn’t need to.


Posted on 11/17/2006
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Elle O'Connor on 11/17/06 at 09:16 PM

It's rare that I react physically to a poem,,,goosebumps, tears, etc. This elicited a physical reaction, which, I believe, is the best compliment I can give you.

Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 11/18/06 at 02:17 AM

Intensely poised on the verge... between the everyday we take for granted, and the vibrant awareness of the disappearance and life and what has been familiar. Powerful, and silent, well described and chosen moment's deep insight.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 11/18/06 at 05:11 AM

I don't know how, but somehow in your writing your experience is linked to one of mine. Although this may have happened in the past, it's still there in my memory. Right now, my relating to this poem in the first stanza, with the rest of the poem being a bittersweet emotional experience.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 11/18/06 at 05:12 AM

That 3rd line should have read, "right now my relating to this poem is in the first stanza..."

Posted by Laura Doom on 11/19/06 at 07:22 PM

I wonder if there are words for final moments - the years speak for themselves.
Impossible as they are to avoid, regrets of regrets also steal time, whether precious or not. Irrational fears and irreconcilable contradictions, these are the things that touch me here, the past as a home from home. Invaluable substance, delivered with (muted?) feeling.

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