Friday, June 10, 2011

Perfect Memories

By Joseph Hesch

They shared so short a time together,
neither understood why the memory
of the other lasted so long, so strong.
The shadow outline of a man approaching,
her head down in thought,
always gave her heart a start
and her mind a whirl.
All these years she obsessively searched
to find the courage to share again.
She thought she came close once, but...
not quite,
her vision obstructed
by a soft silken bond and cold steel fear.

For his part, that certain scent of
a woman passing on the street or in
a crowded stairway would bring his head up
like a hound's hunting for a hoodoo.
And then…the pounding disappointment.
He told himself he would have settled
for an unmarked, unsigned card from her.
She could have rubbed it between
her soft, warm palms and he would recognize
the sender, the memory of her fragrance
still as fresh today
as that of flowers in his hand.

Lately, they learned lessons about themselves
that uncovered their eyes.
He finally recognizes nobody could be
so perfect as she, except, for a time,
his next imperfect iteration of her.
And she, her shadowy, so-so specter of him.
So they just stopped trying.
Resigned, they are, that life will
never be perfect for them.
Passable, patient will have to do,
until the next one.


  1. Yes, it makes me want more. Like an opening scene from a movie. One that will be a real tear-jerker...

  2. How sad to decide not to try to find the one who completes you.

  3. So sad that they realised when they were apart..a great write, moved me to tears..

    he gave her flowers
    listening to the raindrops
    tears that weep for love

  4. I am right there, watching this playout, a fly on the wall of a home once filled with happiness, but now silent in that patient way...again, you are a writer of the world we know, forcing us to see what it is, when we fight so hard to believe the lie. You are truth, personified, making the here and the now poetic. Love how you continue to keep it real, which, to me, is one of the hardest things to do when it comes to writing good poetry. You are a master of the story,and it becomes more and more evident with every post!

  5. Adding to Tash's keeping it real comment, not only is it plausibly realistic, but that's what makes good writing, you can always put yourself in the shoes of the narrator in your poems, been in this situation myself, and it's awful being apart, and realising the one you want is actually the one you let go.

  6. an all too real story, ugh though how long will it last, your last couple lines, the resignation saddens me...

  7. It takes a long time sometimes to reach this level of realization, and ever step taken towards it is uphill the memories. A very genuine, intelligently written poem. The middle stanza, especially, is heart heavy.

  8. such an incredible piece.. I am truly blown away!

  9. Painfully emotional, a sad tale...nothing aches quite so much as the ache of the heart, and to realize the one you want is the one you've let walk away...agony. Striking piece, Joe.

  10. But fools will be fools and where's she gone?
    Where has she gone?

    I guess to finish the story: Frank singing,
    "The road gets rougher, it's lonelier and it's tougher
    With hope ya burn up, tomorrow maybe she'll turn up
    There ain't no let up, live-long night, night and day

    Ever since, since this world began
    There ain't nothin' sadder than
    A long-lost loser
    Lookin' for the gal who got away."

    Good job on the poem - from both points of view.

  11. Sad and moving. There is no worse pain than one of the heart....

  12. Yes hits home to most in one way or another. As things just keep on a coming. Great truth behind your words, nice.

  13. Gawd, but I felt this one. And whilst I was admiring the craft of the poem, I was also saying quietly, "You fool, you fool" to either which would listen...

    And that, my friend, is the mark of storyteller/poet. To make one forget they are being told a story or reading a poem.

  14. Perhaps we need to hold an experience in our memory, like secrets in a little treasure box, the kind that children adore. Some are satisfied with the memory, others are compelled to seek new treasures. Beautiful, poignant poem.

  15. This is excellent:

    "So they just stopped trying.
    Resigned, they are, that life will
    never be perfect for them."

    I grok.