Monday, August 22, 2011

Living alone


"Dining alone bothers us all far more than sleeping alone." Barbara Holland One's Company

The Imitator

In the evening land a woman
places fresh bread on a polished table,
takes a knife from the drawer
cutting board from the wall
sets the single plate.

Milk sloshes in the pitcher
the screen door thumps in the breeze
the dim first star of night
appears in the uppermost square of window.

Outside, a whimpering begins, crescendos.
Pitcher in hand, she crosses the threshold,
wades the evening grass,
scans the wooded hill.

Feral Cat? Lost dog? Coyote pup?
She clicks her tongue and waits.
Then, a scuffling
a pant
out limps red fox.

The woman kneels.
Eye to eye they speak in silence.
Knife in mind, the woman pares
the barrier between them.

The fox approaches.
Paw examined, thorn removed
the fox laps milk,
departs.

In the evening land a woman
slices thin the bread, sets the single bowl
sits
and under the glow of midsummer constellations
laps milk.

First two lines are taken from MeKeel McBride's poem
"The Going Under of the Evening Land."

1992

15 comments:

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

Love the photo and the poem and the quote at the beginning, so true for me, too...

Tess Kincaid said...

Bittersweet and beautiful, Suki. I love the kinship shared with the fox, a small reprieve from loneliness.

Mystic Meandering said...

Lovely poem Suki - the kindness and connection to the fox touches my heart.

And love your new banner art for the blog as well! Christine

Lynn said...

What a story, I see it all. So beautifully done Suki. Bravo!

louciao said...

First of all, I love your new header of your artwork.
Secondly, I don't know how you manage to draw me into complete worlds created with such simple language, but your poetry/stories always transport me.

kj said...

my god, suki, you wrote this? (please i hope you know this may sound like an incredulous insult but it is really the opposite). it is magnificent, how you turn what should be real danger between a woman and a fox into a healing communion.

i love this poem, suki. have you read what mary oliver had to say after her life partner died? leave it to mary oliver and you to both, in your own ways, show don't tell.

love

kj

~Babs said...

I'm trying to decide which I like the most.Poem? Header?
I think it's a draw.

I love the line: "pares the barrier"
I do hope you're compiling a book of poetry,,,,,

PS: I like your plate too.
:-)

sukipoet said...

thank you everyone for your kind comments.

i wrote this many years ago but recently was feeling so lonely and alone up here in the boonies. i remembered this poem as expressing some of that feeling.

KJ I dont think I know what Mary Oliver said after the death of her partner. I'll try to find it.

Robin said...

I burst into tears because of this magnificent poem. (Suki, do you mind if I copy it into my notebook where I jot down - the author's name - all poems that move me?

You captured so beautifully - exactly what it is like to be alone. Perhaps the only *positive* about being alone is that some sort of *magic* does seem to be sprinkled on one....and thus, episodes like the Woman and the Fox do really occur...animals seem to *know* and trust one more.... perhaps because there's a bond between them due to the silence of their worlds...

I JUST LOVE THIS.... (I love the new header too..did you paint this in the 60's? It has that vivid, full of live and love feel to it!)

Hugs, Hugs and MORE HUGS!

Love to you and Bibs,

♥Robin ♥

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

The colorful header and the tender poem all from the past but standing the test of time...still beautiful and true!

sukipoet said...

thanks so much Robin. Yes, do copy it out into your book of poems. I am honored to be among the other poems and poets you love. The header is a section of one of the San Francisco drawings.

kikipotamus said...

Oh wow! Such powerfully moving prose!

kimmie said...

The thorn in the paw. Not easily removed when one is alone. Bless your table. Bless your home. Bless your moonlight.

Marion said...

Wow, Suki! This poem has so many emotions running through me...loneliness, yet contentment, sadness, yet healing...I could go on. I wish I had one-half of your creativity!

Love the terrific header, as well! You are indeed someone to look up to and aspire to be...xx

soulbrush said...

I guess those of us who aren't living alone (yet) don't appreciate it enough.