Sunday, May 17, 2009

At Departure Bay, Part II

by Sandra Leigh

To the young man who cried:

I saw you, and my heart broke. Not knowing where to look, not wanting to intrude,
I looked everywhere but into your eyes, where the pain shone, but your eyes insisted, called out,
drew me like a leaf drawn into a fast-moving stream. I was a stranger – did you know that? What could I do for you? I've never been in your world. I don't know my way. I'll be lost. Please. You're frightening me. If you weren't disintegrating, if you were yourself, you would see that. I can not help you. I wish I could help you.

I came home, then, and tried to write it down, tried to make it real on my screen, on paper, make it real to someone who wasn't there, who didn't see you, whose heart didn't break, but it was words on the page, black on white, a picture in two dimensions, and it wasn't good enough for you. I couldn't see your eyes there, the hollow, grinding sorrow, the silent cry for help, nor hear you gasp for air and feel the muscles tighten in your arms as you tried so hard to hold yourself together by sheer force of will and then gave up, gave yourself to hopeless, fathomless grief.

I hope she was able to comfort you, that girl with the hair like cornsilk. I hope her heart broke just enough to let your grief in, to warm it and soothe it and give it back before it broke her completely. I hope that when it came back to you, you could find a place for it, a place where it would lose its power to destroy you, because that is what was happening there, at Departure Bay.

I was not happy with the poem I posted this morning. I'm told I'm being too hard on myself, which would not surprise me - but at the same time, I knew how much more I was trying to say than I could say in that poem, and my inadequacy made me want to throw something. I've come back to write down more of what I was feeling, so that if this is the poem I'm to write for the next week or month or year or more, I'll have a somewhat more faithful rendering of the experience to fall back on. If you've gotten this far, thank you for your patience. I shall try not to bleed all over the blog again, at least for a while.


John Hayes said...

I do think you captured this better than you gave yourself credit for, but it sounds like a very intense experience, & I'm glad you wrote more about it. I have something for you at RF Banjo.

Sandra Leigh said...

Thanks, John. It's strange, the way our lives zip by and so much goes unnoticed, and once in a while there's a moment that stands, frozen, and demands to be noticed and dealt with and remembered. I'll head over to RFB now. Another present? I love presents.

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