Thursday, June 08, 2006

I Once Knew Something

At the beginning of me, I was a clean sheet.
No words, no doodles, no marks.
I knew things then that I have lost.
They went the way of my illiteracy.
Tidied up and swept away.
I created poems and canvases and a child.
I took on a man and a vocation and a life.
Now clean sheets are where I wrap my babe,
where I make love to my man,
the place where I dream of my tomorrow and tomorrow.
Nothing showed on me back then,
not like now.
Scars and worry lines and smoker's wrinkles around my mouth.
I haven't smoked in 20 years, but there they are.
I wish I could remember what I came here knowing.
I feel it, like the piece of food between my teeth.
Tease at it, tease at it, suck on it.
But it just won't come.
And I can never leave a clean sheet lie.
I must fill it with doodles and words and my man and my life.


  1. I am so glad RLP pointed you out. I continue to enjoy your poetry.

  2. Anonymous5:13 AM

    I feel ya Cynthia.

    Lately I've been writing about some things that have caused me to look back at the pages of my life. I've been trying to make sense of all of them since my divorce back in '98. But until this poem I didn't see them as pages. I saw them as little more than a mess piled up on my desk and shoved toward the back. You know the pile I'm talking about - the pile where that one particular page can be found - it's a blue piece of paper - uhhmmm, about halfway down the stack - yep, there it is see! I told you I could find it!

    When I needed it I could always find the right memory on the right page, but the stack of papers themselves did not have any value. Maybe now I can begin to think of them as something worth holding onto - or should I? Yes, I must hold on to them, sort through them and stack them appropriately. Then I will put them in a binder and file them on the shelf next to the pages of other men and women who have reconciled their own thoughts. Maybe someday it will all make sense.

    Thanks for listening.

  3. I love the imagery of clean sheets. In a house with 6 people, they happen less than I would like. :) But I remember when my daughter was about 7 and she jumped into her bed and realized the sheets were new and clean. She began doing snow angels and saying "Holy, Holy, Holy" in a singsong voice. I will never forget the Truth in that moment. A moment of newness, redemption and holiness.

  4. This is such a wonderful poem ... I especially like the part about the things you lost that went they way of your illiteracy. That is so true ... we loose creativity, our connection to other worlds as we grow and become adults. And then we have to go out and hunt them up again and learn to trust again in those other worlds and the things we knew.


Feel free to critique the poetry. I employ a sophisticated thick hide technology.