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by Richard Vince

This paper is a relic of an age
When I was another me; when I sang
Dirges in my personal darkness while
You danced into the light of another.

Even then you were a distant memory,
But you still colour my words now.
You must have diffused through
The synapses of my memory like
An indelible dye, to make sure you
Would never be forgotten.

Is your memory similarly polluted
With me, or is that yet another
Unanswerable question with which
You have left me? I still talk of you
In an almost present tense, as though
I still await a straight answer.

How quickly love can become hate;
How quickly something loved becomes
A focus for dread and frustration.
How quickly affectionate memories
Take flight while regret is left
Grounded firmly within.

Our talk was too small to sustain
Itself in my recollection, save
One repeatedly asked, simple question,
And the inevitable truism that
Tried to masquerade as the answer.
You were the secret I most wanted
To know, but for which I could
Never find the right questions.

I hope you have forgotten,
Because I would hate to do this
To you; to leave you with frayed
Memories and an unforgettable thread
And an answer that was merely
A question in disguise.

07/26/2007

Posted on 08/01/2007
Copyright © 2022 Richard Vince

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michelle Angelini on 08/02/07 at 05:59 PM

Your words are a mixture of sadness, sensitivity, and longing... I can feel the narrator's pain that the situation would be other than what it is. The ideas flow from one stanza to another and the aura-like images of the one who left are still as if the person were still there. Bittersweet - that's what this poem is.
~Chelle~

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 08/04/07 at 11:44 AM

These very questions run through my mind, too. Here you've created this gem, as if you snatched them from the event of my own thoughts, has me pondering: is it not almost a certainty that this person addressed in the poem is also going through these realizations so perfectly expressed in your verse:

Even then you were a distant memory,
But you still colour my words now.
You must have diffused through
The synapses of my memory like
An indelible dye, to make sure you
Would never be forgotten.


Such is the way of a writer, to be able to locate the feelings of ones own and place them eloquently in the lap of others, and then have the others synchronize to the very moments as if their own. Youdo this with such seeming ease. This is, yes, a gem.

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