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today started with memories
sad limericks and rusty rhymes
about a time when we stood facing one another
offering pockets filled with smiles
and dreams of how it could someday be

our days seemed abundant with bouquets
of words
stacked neatly into lines of poetry
where punctuation was unnecessary
and private silence could be worn like a scarf
that warms the soul more than the heart

i learned to laugh
when others glanced my way
and if i needed i would wear the face of a jester
and toss words into the air
hoping they would align themselves
until i could walk out of the corner
unnoticed

no one was to know the depth of my heart
or the emptiness of the chambers
where only loneliness lived

i had hoped to someday arrange my emotions
alphabetically
until i could read them in monotone cadence
to a listening audience of none

where did the smile go
that i wanted to share with someone special

where did that special person go
who made me smile
when i was younger and more innocent

today ended with memories
sad limericks and rusty rhymes
about a time when i stood facing myself
offering no smile

only a memory
of how it could have someday been

© 2012, tolbert. All rights reserved.

tolbert (24 Posts)

Born in Virginia and raised in North Carolina, I have Southern roots that were extracted when I lived close enough to Berkeley in the late sixties and early seventies to taste the influences of the pursuit of freedom. As a student at San Jose State University I watched William Kuntsler expound on the values of free speech and he offered more education in an hour, on the lawn by the baseball diamond than most professors gave in a full semester. Married for thirty years, I have two grown daughters and three grandkids,..and two Boston Terriers.


2 Comments

  1. “and if i needed i would wear the face of a jester
    and toss words into the air
    hoping they would align themselves
    until i could walk out of the corner
    unnoticed”~~~Tolbert, it is sad but I know exactly what this means; how it feels. I could never have expressed it so well. I also love the way you tied this piece together with the day beginning and ending. Thank you for this poignant offering, our soon to be published poet! My day is better for having read this.

  2. “where did the smile go
    that i wanted to share with someone special”

    How very well you express so many of my own emotions. You do what a poet is meant to do and you do it very well, be it happy, be it sad, you make me feel.

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