SHE FLED HIM DOWN THE DAYS

(with a nod to Francis Thompson) 

 

She ran

She fled

 

He was Maleness to her

He was Strength

He was deep sexual Lust

 

She ran from him

She rented a cottage near Misquamicut Beach*

And stayed there the entire off season

 

He was Intellect to her

He was Art and Creativity

He was dusty books

That he fed to her

In snacks, in meals

In three- course dinners

In after- hours nightcaps

 

She fled him down the days

And took a new life by the ocean

 

There were those who came to see her

There were those she would not see

 

She hid from him

And all his Masculine Virtue

Truth and Philosophy

 

She did not want his embrace?

She did not want his kiss?

 

She did want it

But she resisted it

 

She resisted it like torture

With all her might

She found a cold spot within her

And she rested there in a fetal position 

She fled

 

She didn’t tell him she had left

She didn’t leave a note

 

She ran

The car was old and unsafe

She filled the tank and fled

 

She covered herself in sweaters and scarves

She didn’t care it was a blistery cold night

 

She fled him down the days

 

Escaping into the wicked reverie of dreams

She now dared

 

The winter was brutal and unrelenting

The wind a sour scourge

 

She didn’t care

She lit a fire and waited

She lit a fire alone

 

There were no electronics

There was only a wind- up clock

 

Torn rugs and chipped dishes

A tiny kitchen to sip her coffee

 

Drapes that never quite closed

Windows never quite down

 

Rooms half painted

With old smells

From former inhabitants

And their pets

 

She fled

She ran

She hid

 

He had unearthed her lust

He had drowned her in his passion

 

No lover came near him

No rival on the shelf

No rival on the horizon

 

He was Sex God

He was Mind

He was Artist

 

She ran from him

Into the underworld of her fears

She dove

 

Like a mermaid

 

Living by the sea in savage solitude

Gazing into fires

Gazing into herself

 

Writing graffiti to eternity

With her toes in the white sand

 

She spent the entire off season

There

 

(the butt of jokes; the object of gossip)

 

They would see her in her sweaters

And in her scarves

And know her fire was lit at night

While waves crashed and boomed

And wind waffled and whistled

 

They’d see her shadow on the walls

And wonder who she was

And where she came from

And what lover she had fled

 

What love that had been so vast

And uplifting, now rolling out with the tide

Like a dingy without a sail

Without a compass or a map

 

She fled him down the days

 

One unsafe car

And a full tank of gas

 

She hid

She ran

 

He never saw her again

 

He wrote her letters

He sent her cards

He slapped all his love on paper

And splattered it in her face

He vowed endless declarations

He promised the impossible, sincerely

He reminded her of ecstatic evenings

And lovemaking days of no end

He drew sketches that revealed her body to him

He painted enormous murals of her

And filled the city with them

He forced her memory wide open

He pried passed the flames into her frozen heart

 

She wept and howled with her face near the fire

She screamed into the waves

And kicked the sand as she bellowed

She crashed to the earth while wrestling a sea gull

And fell asleep in a dreamless land

 

She fled him down the days

Not out of love

Not out of hate

Not out of indifference

 

She fled him down the days

Because

Once when they stood in a mirror

Together

She could not see herself!


 

May 9, 2009

*Westerly RI

5 thoughts on “SHE FLED HIM DOWN THE DAYS”

  1. “She crashed to the earth while wrestling a sea gull.” This line makes me laugh as the round after round of passionate display of visuals within this vast, epic struggle for the self titillates all senses. I love the setup and resolution. Lovely piece.

  2. There are so many wonderful lines here; “He was dusty books
    That he fed to her”…”Gazing into fires.. Gazing into herself..
    Writing graffiti to eternity.” This poem is fluid and alive and tells a story; the struggle of self and passion and beauty. With a thoughtful, satisfying ending. I love the title. Beautiful work.

  3. “She fled him down the days”–a lovely cadence. In fleeing him, she flees herself and the passion he has awakened that so consumes her that she has lost her “self” in it. So daunting. And so she “fled him down the days” to seek solace in her “savage solitude.” I like how the images build as the poem unfolds. A very fine poem.

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