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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In that echo

One day I heard myself let go
And from that hear
I will forever live
And breathe
And walk
In that

Chris McQueeney


     I sat at the park that day so full of fear. The weather was fine, but the grass was damp. Across the picnic table from me was a man I very much admired, and I was telling him all of my faults and flaws and failings. Lighting up the dark recesses of my thinking and living.
     There is this moment before the first drink that to some is called the jumping off place. It is that moment where the drug is calling to you like a lost child in the woods, “I’m here…over here.” While at the same time a quiet part of the mind is wailing “for the love of god don’t, the child will kill you.” Glass in hand the argument is almost always won by the child; the drink is consumed, along with a part of your soul. That internal battle can seem to take millennia as all life tilts on its axis…then fuck it and leap.
     I sat across from that man. I had told him of my anger. I exposed my hurt. I offered to him my guilt. And I stood on that jumping off place, for in my mind, positioned in its throne that rested firmly on my soul sat my shame. The same struggle ensued in my mind as if I was about to take a drink. Only this time the boy was shouting “Please no, if he hears he will never look you in the eye again, will revile and shun you”. This time the quiet voice stayed silent, for I think it had been offered the only answer, and from my mouth I heard myself utter my shame for the man and god to hear.
     I sat on that picnic table in terror of what would happen. He looked at me as if he couldn’t believe I had just told him that. And I was given a gift I can never repay; his response to me was “that was not something I ever did, but if the right circumstance had presented itself I would have.”

Thank You Man

Chris Mcqueeney    6/12/12

this post has been linked to the open link night over at dVerse Poets


Jinksy said...

Your second line would read better, perhaps, if it said 'Since hearing that' ??
'Hear' is not a noun, which makes your choice of words for that line sit uneasily in my mind's 'ear', if you get my drift? :)
But I like the concept of an echo of the release you experienced...

Kay said...

Beautifully written narrative that is extremely powerful. Yes, indeed! At first blush, I thought you had written a nonet at the beginning. However, what you have done is remarkable.

Brian Miller said...

i am glad he gave you understanding instead of condemnation---that is a beautiful thing...

and letting go can be the same...

nice man

Wander said...

If you read the last line of the third paragraph you will see my choice of was intentional. The end of that line is supposed to stand out, be chunky


Old Ollie said...

cool little poem - nice style too

BerlinerinPoet said...

I disagree. I like that you used "hear." It's too smooth if you made it correct. It kind of is jazzy all off kilter like that.

Anonymous said...

i always enjoy my visits.

this. beautiful.

Susie Clevenger said...

What grace we would offer if we gave hope instead of condemnation..this is a beautiful piece of poem and glad I stopped by.

Other Mary said...

I'm glad you included the narrative with the poem. And I'm glad he was understanding. (Re Jinkey's comment about the word 'hear' in L2 I thought you chose that word because when spoken it could also be 'here' and you also go forward from that place).

Nadja Notariani said...

Love the story after the poem...

It is said that true forgiveness cannot be granted between men without the transgressor openly admitting his wrong and asking forgiveness from the one he wronged. We make attempts at forgiveness when these elements are lacking, but it doesn't have the same healing effect.

In your scene, the character makes T'shuvah and gains compassion and forgiveness, understanding and acceptance. Beautiful word picture.

Ben Ditty said...

You are something else, Chris. Can't wait to get back to working on our project. My time management is atrocious.

kj said...

That is a response I want to remember. It has understands and it has no judgement.

I'm imperfect, but Chris, I'm done with shame. Done. Which partially means I have to make myself proud. Plus it also means to follow my own star.

If you didn't mean the play on the word 'hear' as other Mary said, it's a brilliant use of hear and here no matter where it came from

Your poems are so to-the-point. So easy and so rewarding to read


She Writes Here Now said...

:), as a writer, especially of poetry, there is such freedom in using words as you WILL, as your will dictates, to say what you want to say. I see why you used hear. The word play with heard and here verses hear works beautifully. There is something powerful in hearing our own selves speak what "is" out loud. It is even more powerful to have a listener who hears us and doesn't look away, but hold eye contact and remains. That kind of reception, openness and understanding offers healing that is beyond words. I'm glad you heard it when it happened--for both of you! It is the most beautiful stuff of life.