Monday, March 11, 2013

By Myself


"People don't get me,"
She said through
A cloud of smoke.

She was propped
Precariously on the
Now cool radiator,
Bundled up in a
Shaggy white coat.

Her attention was
Directed to the
Foot traffic on the
Street below, but
Her words were
Aimed at me.

I tried to ignore
Her terrible attempt
At starting a conversation
As I cleaned up
The mess she made
In our little apartment.

"They don't get
That I refuse to play
By their rules, that
I rather be myself
And have fun than
Be 'the good girl'."
She took a swig
Of her coffee.

I looked away,
I knew she was
Referring to me
In her underhanded way.

To her,
I was always trying,
Always wanting to
Please everyone,
My mother,
My professors,
My boss,
My boyfriend.

She also knew,
That after all
My trying, I would
Return to our apartment
And cry myself to sleep.

When I looked back,
She was looking at me,
A steady stream of
Smoke escaping her lips.

"I love you,
You know."
I nodded and
Looked away,
Still unaccostomed
To such words.

I threw away the last
Of the garbage in
The bin in the kitchen.

When I returned to
The living room,
She was gone.

Shaggy coat draped
Across the radiator,
Coffee cup and cigarette
Sitting on the window sill.

Slowly I walked across,
I put on the coat and
Perched myself on
The radiator. The coffee
Was cold, but the smoke
Was like an old friend.

In that moment,
I had stopped trying.
I was not trying
To be her because
I was always her.

In trying to be
Everything for
Everyone else,
I became disconnected
From who I really was.

And in moments like these,
I had to be reminded by
The only person who
Knew who I really was.

I had to be reminded
By myself.


Submitted to imaginary garden with real toads and dVerse Poets 

14 comments:

Jim said...

Lovely in a sad sort of way, Kim.

Most all of us have been there, some, including me, more than others.
..

Brian Miller said...

really nice story telling...and i like that in the end it was back to you being yourself...we can lose so much in trying to please others....

aprille said...

How intriguing. A fascinating puzzle. One of the hardest to solve in our lives. I often think that we behave in the way other people see us and not the other way around.

[btw, I have such trouble with your verif. and need to do it five or six times before I get it right. Moderation??]

Anonymous said...

The opening imagery is fantastic, especially, of course, when used along with that amazing photograph. And I absolutely love this transition:

"Slowly I walked across,
I put on the coat and
Perched myself on
The radiator. The coffee
Was cold, but the smoke
Was like an old friend."

~andy

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Wow, I like the conceit of having a talk with yourself as an entirely different entity. (NOTE TO SELF: I must steal this premise, not leave any clues, and somehow get Kimolisa to see it as homage.)

Loved this, my friend!

McGuffy Ann said...

Painful, beautiful, and I get her.

Laurie Kolp said...

Yes, it's easy to lose touch with who we are when trying so hard to people-please.

Mary said...

This was very moving. I was captured right into the poem and flowed inside it until it ended. Whew, you have a gift for the telling. We really can't please everyone else, as you learned. We have to first please ourselves. Brilliant.

rumoursofrhyme said...

It is so hard to be ourselves when we are trying to meet the expectations of others, and so easy to lose sight of who we really are. You've captured this really well in this well-crafted and well-told narrative poem.

Grace said...

I like the slant on reminding ourselves to be ourselves ~ Good retelling here and wonderful message as well ~

aka_andrea said...

And in moments like these,
I had to be reminded by
The only person who
Knew who I really was.

I had to be reminded
By myself.

mmmm... thank you for this...so poingnant to me right now. lovely.

Margaret said...

Adored the twist of this!

dragyonfly said...

I want to know more about this character, she is intriguing! I love your inclusion of the shaggy coat and smoke, the way it flows and separates only to come together again. thanks!!

Panchali said...

Beautifully narrated...and I so loved the message in the end. Yes, it isn't easy...!!
Brilliant!

 
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