Monday, January 28, 2008

Poetry Train Monday - 34 - The Look That Passes Between Them

This is a reworked poem from my high school years. The original version is quite long. One might even say overly long. I had a look at it recently and decided a much shorter version could be picked out of it.

The Look That Passes Between Them

Even then
She chipped away
The cornerstones reduced
To so much rubble

He grabbed the hammer
The chisel
Dashed them to the ground
Screamed and spit
Grabbed her by the hair
Dragged her to the door
Kicked to smash it open

She landed upon jagged edges
The stones she'd chipped from the tower
The pain was blinding

She rose to her feet
Her skin raw
Without the shell
He'd pried free
Still buried in a pocket

One day they'll meet again
His blue eyes no longer charged
With desperation
No shutters to keep a breeze
From tussling his hair

In his outstretched hand
A shell
In hers a polished stone

Copyright - Julia Smith - 2008


Jill said...

At first I thought about a caveman, then, I didn't know!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yeah, this is deep. Disturbing, too; you've got me wondering how you can write so calmly about violence. It always freaks me out.

It's also fragile and beautiful. And I want to know how that stone comes to be polished.

Joy Renee said...

this seems to speak of the role all relationships in our lives play: to chip off the facade of the false self and rub off the rough edges of our egos.

gautami tripathy said...

I saw it as relationship at its up and downs. With ragged edges as well as polished.

keeyit said...

Great Poem !

julia said...

Susan - I wonder the same thing about myself. Often! I just wrote about that in my 7 Weird Things meme on Friday.

Sniz said...

This is so interesting. What it's about?

Tink said...

Beautiful isn't the word perhaps, this is a deep, very good poem.

Akelamalu said...


Karina said...

Wow, this is a really powerful piece. Especially if you take a moment to reread the title. It says it all, doesn't it. Wow.

julia said...

Sniz - I originally wrote this about my first boyfriend. Breaking up was my introduction to what felt, to me, like unbearable emotional pain.

But the two of us have seen each other over the years, since we share mutual friends. We remain delighted to see one another whenever we meet.

Even when I was a raw teenager I knew that the act of exposing our inner selves to each other was really the key to romantic maturity for our later lives. The shell he holds, and the polished stone she holds, are the gifts we've each given to the other, opening each other up to love in the first place.

Samantha Lucas said...

wow! I love this.

Christine d'Abo said...

Very deep, Julia. But then you are a very deep, thoughtful person. I've always enjoyed your poems. :)

Amy Ruttan said...

Oooh that is a bit dark. But I liked it. I really did. Good job dahling.

You come up with some beautiful prose.

No Nonsense Girl said...

I love your poetry!!!! :) Inspiring you are girl!


Danika / OpenChannel said...

I hadn't seen it as physically violent, but as a metaphor for that wrenching pain we cause each other in relationships... ack, who doesn't remember that raw heartbreak of young love.

I saw the stone as a symbol of her being healed when they finally met again.

Danika / OpenChannel said...

P.S. How brave of you to go looking thru your high school poetry! I don't even think I have any of mine, I probably burned it all...

Rhonda Leigh said...

Wow, that's so sad and beautiful.

You're a Scorpio AND a Dragon? No wonder you can write so intensely! ;)


Annette said...

You have a gift of putting words together to form vivid images in my mind. Very impressive!

Shelley Munro said...

I loved the way you put your words together. Sad, it tugs at the feelings we've probably all had in relationships.