Sunday, November 30, 2008

Primroses (an older one slightly revised)


...and so it is......Damien Rice

I still keep that photo you snapped.
Eyes just past childlike; china masked by steel.
The edge of one breast peeks from my half-
zippered jumpsuit. Primroses cluster
beneath the far rail.

Men hustled me then, hard as gamblers 
when the dice were red hot,
trailed the sway of my hips
in hopes of leaving their seed.

I chose you--you with the wrist-thin legs,
white cotton socks peeking furtively
from beneath your creased jeans.
Gold ring, third finger down.

The day was heady with sunshine
and bright-colored birds swooping deep
into the grass in search of plump juicy worms.
You fell hard that day
from your usual straight arrow ways.

I later settled for a man from Peoria.
Legs thick as an ox.

A lifetime later, your name
lept out. Some obscure article
about spiders. Hands damp, I wrote you.

Your hair has gone gray, you reply.
Work still goes well.
Your jeans don't fit, anymore.
You stick in a photo of your daughter.
Your eyes stare at me from her face.
I never forgot you, you add, but
isn't that's how life goes?

The birds fly slower today.
Too many worms get away.
The sun swells like a heartbeat.
Sweat pours down my back.

I plant extra primroses along my porch rail,
imagine a westerly wind rising later
to carry their scent back to you.

Pris Campbell
(revised 2008)

A slightly different version of this was published in The Dead Mule, Spring Issue 2007. Thank you, Dead Mule!

Photograph from archives


Collin Kelley said...

Fantastic poem! You look like one of Charlie's Angels in that photo!

Pris said...

thanks, Collin. i imagined myself somewhat of a vamp in those days:-)

Annie Wicking said...

Wow & Wow, wonderful poem & picture, Pris.

Hope all is going well with your book.

Best wishes,

Erin said...

Wow is right! This is really just wonderful Pris

Scot said...

in all ways fantastic--nice pic too!

Pris said...

Hi Annie, the book has been on hiatus while I've dealth with some health issues, but I've been working on my series of sail poems that I hope will form a chap. And thanks.

Erin and Scott, my thanks go to you, too.

Lisa Allender said...

Pris-- I love the magical, hopeful ending of this tender, evocative piece. PLEASE let me know when you have your book, or chapbook, out & available.
Also, perhaps I could get you Featured here in Atlanta, at a Poetry Read!

Pris said...

Hi Lisa
I have two available right now. Look to my right links section and you'll see ordering information for the latest one out by Lummox and Abrasions, the one before that, by Rank Stranger. I have copies of Abrasions to sell since I ordered extra copies when the first printing ran out. The editor of Lummox is in the hospital right now I just heard so orders to him for Hesitant Commitment will come when he's released.

I would love to be read in Atlanta, except it would have to be by someone else. I'm almost totally housebound with CFIDS. More about that on my website bio/about me page.

Thanks for your comment and interest.