Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Several experiences and conversations this week have set me to thinking about the words I both say and hear. My thoughts turned to poetry. Here is my attempt to describe some of what I am feeling.


the air in the room is thick with left
behind words from long ago
words from last week
words we just said that took
on lives of their own as they left
our lips and our control

words we picked up off pages
things we repeat because – who knows?
words that ricochet off our shoulders
that haunt us like ghosts
that taunt us like children
that flaunt like lovers

words that break hearts
that wound friends and others
words sent to make up or make right
even though they cannot replace
those that have already cut deep
and taken residence

some dart in and out like fish
in the aquarium of conversation
some hang like wind chimes whispering
of those who talked in these rooms
before we ever stepped inside
others fly out open windows

some change between lip and ear
we don’t remember what was said
but carry away what we heard
what we thought they meant to say
we are so sure that the words
collect like pebbles in our shoes

some are familiar like home
or the curve of the one who matters most
words we say again and again
because there are no better words
I love you I love you I love you
and they shine in the dark like stars


Abbey of the Arts said...

Really lovely Milton, I love the images you use: words that haunt/taunt/flaunt, cut deep, take residence, like fish darting, like pebbles in our shoes, and the last line was especially beautiful. Blessings to you, Christine

Africakid said...

After reading your poem, I've been thinking about words off and on all day. Thought-provoking.