I get nervous
as I see it drifting down my sleeve,
the tender tattered mess
I call my heart.
I call upon any artifice I can
in those moments,
when I fear all my dreaming and desires
are naked in an innocent display.
Every breath not filled with words
starts as perhaps, perhaps,
the most right and holy moment
to relieve myself of the burden,
all the thoughts that gyre
underneath my flesh.
But moments pass,
and the sting of those wasted moments
is pitiless of the bruises already there
on my resigned heart
shoved hurriedly off my sleeve
and caged inside my ribs where it belongs.
Song Choice: If by Janet Jackson
This poem was inspired by the prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads prompt: Get Listed!, where we were required to use several words in our poem (I used tatter, artifice, holy, gyre, wasted, and pitiless). There was also a bit of inspiration from A Dash of Sunny's Edgar Allen Poe prompt last week. I had started something for that but I wasn't quite happy with the original direction I took. For some reason this week's Toad's prompt, plus memories of being a college girl with a crush on this sweet guy I knew (spoiler alert: we've been married 21 years now) perked up my original idea to play around with ideas around the phrase "tell-tale heart" and this was created. It is also linked to Poetry Pantry #339 over at Poets United.