Saturday, December 17, 2016

Incidentals

She only took a suitcase when she left
for her brother's in Joplin, Missouri.
All the rest she left behind;
the incidentals of a life.

Full blood Choctaw, her tribal pride
displayed on every side of every room -
dreamcatchers, moccasins, baskets half woven - she's been removed
from the red dirt she's called home
as long as she's lived.  She can't be
alone anymore
they tell her.

So she packed a suitcase and left
for her brother's in Joplin, Missouri.
All the rest stayed here behind -
the incidentals of a life.

For Kerry's "final twilight" prompt at Real Toads

22 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

You manage to create an authentic character and her story in these lines, in such a way that far more is suggested than said.
I especially love your phrasing of the run on lines in the central movement of the poem.

carob hush said...

I love this poem. I will read this at least ten more times. Flawless work, Kell.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh so sad, to not be able to take the memorabilia with her. That is what always pings at my heart in seniors' housing - their lives, all the "stuff" of their lives, left behind, they are reduced to a bed, a bedside cabinet with comb and toothbrush, maybe a few photos..........yikes, I hope I get to take some of my wolves with me. If I cant, I wont go.

brudberg said...

This is a parting that is part a suicide... when you leave it behind, it's like cutting roots.. wonderful and sad story.

grapeling said...

you honor the style of Borges' poem, and the spirit of this character, flawlessly ~

carob hush said...

I didn't see it as sad the first time. It says something about her spirit that her essence goes with her. If you pack your whole self in your self, not in things or places, or even people, then you are always free to let your fire burn, right where you are.

Sioux said...

It is indeed sad when people have to leave behind so much of their lives...

Getting old sucks.

Gillena Cox said...

"baskets half woven" this tugs at my heart; a very strong metaphor for severed phases in life

written in your charming style: just enough given and just enough left out to provoke us, to ponder the situation


much love...

Magaly Guerrero said...

Some circles can be so sad...

Isadora Gruye said...

This poem is rich with layers and story. You did a great job in showing us a character and letting us acquaint ourselves between the lines. Well done, MZ and viva la!

blueoran said...

The tragedy for me here is in misreading incidentals for essentials. Surely I have much to learn about letting go and moving on.

Kim Russell said...

As I read your poem, Mama Zen, it was accompanies by a film in my head. I love this story about a strong woman with sadness in her life.

hedgewitch said...

Her story seems to echo the historical narrative of all First Nations people, as well as the very human narrative we all confront when we can 'no longer be alone.' I think the wolf may have it better than we do.

Outlawyer said...

You bring up the importance of the incidentals of a life. Thanks. k.

Fireblossom said...

They sound more important than that, to me.

Gail said...

So very sad but wonderfully crafted.

Marian said...

I realize this is complete but still would like to read more about her.

Margaret said...

I know how important "incidentals" can be - I have things I treasure. Hopefully those she was able to pack in her suitcase... A strong woman, a strong poem.

Steve King said...

For me, this talks about the unfinished nature of all of life and the surprise that comes when expectations are unfulfilled and undone. From one room to another, we must be prepared for life as it finds us. Very well done.

Susie Clevenger said...

This reminds me of my mother. She left the world she had built in her tiny home because of Alzheimer's. She left all of us for a family she would never find again. I certainly feel the pain in this piece.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I love this because it points out very subtly that the incidentals are often the stuff of life. Thanks and Happy Xmas, Mosk

colleen said...

Why did this give me chills? Maybe because I think the incidentals are the proofs of her life.