Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 23: Need to Withdraw, Beverly Matherne, "I Wonder What It Was Like"

I am feeling the need to withdraw today for some reason.  Not be around too many people.  That doesn't work too well when you're the father of a teenage daughter and eight-year-old son.  Plus, I usually have dinner at my parents' house on Sunday evening.  It's one of the few times in the week that I can visit with my siblings.

Yet, I have cloistered myself at my parents' dining room table, headphones on, listening to music and writing blog posts.  When I'm done blogging, I will probably pretend that I'm still blogging, just so that I won't have to talk to anyone.  I know it's a terrible thing to do, but my weeks are full of human interaction.  On weekends, I try to be as antisocial as possible.  It helps me recharge my supply of human compassion and empathy for the week.

I think that poets need to do this every once in a while, too.  Poetry requires a certain amount of isolation and introspection.  To think and feel things through.  Figure things out.  Find the perfect word and phrase.  To wonder and speculate.

So, if you're looking to talk to Saint Marty today, he won't be answering his phone, unless you are a publisher; head of a university English Department looking for a full-time poet; or member of the Swedish Academy selecting the next winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

I Wonder What It Was Like

by:  Beverly Matherne

I wonder what it was like
when Mama met Daddy
that spring dance
at Ascension Catholic high,
her brown hair
to the slim waist
of her white organdy dress,
Daddy's Billiantined hair,
his green eyes sparkling.

I wonder what it was like,
their white shoes
scuffing waxed linoleum
to Louis  Armstrong's band,
crawfish and Jax Beer
and fruit punch and
magnolias filling the air.

I wonder what it was like,
their high-pitched laughs,
the differences between their dialects:
l' epouvantail, la paillasse.

I wonder what it was like,
Daddy tipsy, reciting
"To-morrow, and to-morrow . . ."
to show he knew English,
Mama's movie-star smile,
her perfect white teeth,
their long stroll on the levee,
as the Mississippi licked the shore
and rolled on, rolled on . . .

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