Selected Works, Volume One On Sale
Jerry Prager, author of Legends of the Morgeti vol 1 &2 has published selections of poetry and prose from three of his previously published books, his blog The Well Versed Heart and unpublished works. On Sale at Macondo Books, the Bookshelf, in Guelph and the Eden Mills Writers Fest.
D'Etre Raisins

No sour grapes these,

rather the withered sweetness
of seasons lengthened
to aged fruition
chewed introspectively.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Suddenly Maureen, Again

A photo on Facebook:

a face unseen in decades,
a name like an icon
clicks open to unexpected
emotions welling, suppressed
memories of forgotten feelings bubble up,
and yet, tagged with too few details, nothing
but overarching images remain: Rosedale rooms
and St. George Street dug from my oldest phone book,
two numbers, a time and two places I can't access
otherwise, a spring of experience distilled over decades
into streams of gladness and regret.

I don't remember how we met or why we parted,
except as possibilities I can't confirm without her to say
what is true and what is not: she's from a time in my life
I can't recall on my own - self-taught as I had become
from the age of ten on - to avoid thinking too deeply
about the patterns of self destruction that I had
taken over from my father.
My shields, like dividing walls,
still separate me from who I was back then.

Only now, days afterward,
because of the age of that phone book,
do I know that I knew her in my early mid-twenties
when I was little more than an adult housing a broken child.

That is why, when I came across her name online,
and then found her photo, buried complexities suddenly
fountained into sense - but not quite sensible - memory;
her smile became visceral, then became the sound of her voice,
her eyes became her laugh, her breathing near me was felt;
my heart remembered her as my mind raced to
understand there was someone I had loved deeply
and forgotten. I messaged her to reintroduce myself,
I received a return hello,
I followed her message - with
not just one - but two of my own;
both written as poles of previously
compartmentalized love and guilt
erupted together from my
no longer divided

The emotions were those
of the young me I am now lamenting:
the two notes the older I just wrote
were driven by my need to make sense of
what was happening to me, to apologize
for a past I couldn't remember in light of feelings
for someone I am only just remembering...

To her, they must have seemed like
missives from madness.
Her response came with morning,
the fragile link was blocked,
access denied,
contact severed.

Since then,
I have a sense
of an almost certain
phone call.

My last words to her,
remain beyond recall,
her response
I still cannot hear.

The gist un-knots in my gut
as strands of sorrow and joy.

Only the long practice
of self-forgiveness
for that time
of fragmentation
allows me
with myself
and this outcome.

For even though I had ended it,
I had cared for her in depths
I could not reach; and thus,
some of what was,
or email.

She is no longer forgotten
and I have a few
memories back
I never meant to lose.


kathleenmaher said...

Jerry, it's a beautiful poem, and as I understand it, sad but not unfinished.

Anonymous said...

ah, yes, Maureen.

Jerry Prager said...

Anonymous, ah yes Maureen ?
Is that just an immediate response or do you know me from way back then ?