Expectations

If I used the past
to draw a roadmap to the future,
I’d have expected the terrain
to be a salted earth disappointment.

Look, there’s Left Out Bay,
a bright jewel in the shadow of Half Truth Mountain.
And here I am,
the dot labeled Lone Traveler,
heading towards After Thought Lake,
waiting for the swamp smell to hit.

So I’m surprised
when the ground doesn’t give in under my feet.
The traveling doesn’t get lonely.
Even on days when I accidentally stumble
over Certain Doom Falls,
I see you’re sitting in the barrel next to mine,
arms raised, laughing and whooping as we go.

The future doesn’t look like the past at all.
Stupid map.

Process Note: This post is part Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads prompt, Let's Go Back In Time 


30 comments:

  1. I love all your poems but this one really delighted me! The imagery of the twin barrels going over Certain Doom Falls amidst all that merriment will stay with me for a long time!!

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    1. This one was a lot of fun to write. I'm glad you liked it.

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  2. Oh I like this. Great way to describe the landscape of your feelings.

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    1. LOL, I started off with the idea of a cynical version of Candy Land (a game a lot of folks played in their youth or with young ones) and played with the ideas from there.

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  3. This is fabulous! I love how your map unfolded before my eyes as I read, and you the moving dot from then 'til now. I love the way you concluded. This is a unique piece.

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    1. This was an odd mix of playful and sarcastic, but I'm glad it came together in the end.

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    1. A lot of life can be described that way ;)

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  5. This is a garden of imagery, Rommy. I love the tone--how it makes me imagine the speaking frowning and probably talking with her hands... And the wild run "over Certain Doom Falls"? Priceless.

    So many stories (and bits of life) come to mind, while I read your poem... It made me think of every time I've heard someone (sometimes myself *cough*), saying, "We used to have it so much harder."

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    1. I think so many times it comes down to how we see our experiences while we are going through them. What looks like Certain Doom Falls can be another ride at the amusement park, if the company is right.

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  6. The last nine lines are so unexpected and so classic, not to mention funny. Love it.

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    1. I am a rather silly person, and I think sometimes when I own that, I come up with some pretty funny stuff.

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  7. This is really charming! I love it.

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    1. Aw! Thanks. It was a heck of a lot of fun to write.

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  8. You paint a very idiosyncratic but familiar landscape here--I love the ending, where humor does not detract from, but rather enhances meaning. Really cool poem, in other words. ;_)

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    1. It's hard sometimes to know when it's right to be funny in poetry. In real life I often crack jokes, especially if it's a "gotta laugh otherwise I'll cry" sort of thing. That sensibility felt right for this poem.

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  9. What a wonderful admonition to us all to leave the past behind and focus on where we are now! Your word play was just wonderful! This is a piece I could read over and over! Simply marvelous!

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    1. *grin* I enjoyed writing it. Glad you enjoyed reading it.

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  10. I like that future can give surprises.. maybe we should walk without a map sometimes... Love those places on your map (and I think we have all searched for the ugly waters and the crumbled mountains instead of finding the sea of surprise.

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    1. It's amazing how much the past can color our expectations, whether it has anything to do with the present situation or not. Yeah, once you see the map doesn't fit, it's better to ditch it and see what's really in front of you.

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  11. Well, I cant tell you how much I adore - and resonate with - this poem. LOVE the sitting in the barrel ofdoom, laughing and whooping. LOL. Me, too.

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  12. This was a delight from first word to last. Loved this and I wish you every happiness in this holiday season in the new year, love from Moskowitz the Humble

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    1. I hope your holidays were good too! Thanks for stopping by.

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