SST8 alternative poem 2nd draft

24 Jan

(I have already submitted 2 drafts of my other poem “Trespassing” but am wondering if this is a better poem.  For those who have read the other one if you could cast an eye o this one, it would be appreciated.  I am only asking for detailed feedback on whatever one is thought the best and most suitable to SST8 -joshua jones)

Coffee Date


With the flask I carried now uncovered

steam from my coffee dosidoes upward

I unfold my well worn camping stool

and perch myself down in this field

across from me the woman I married

near four decades and six years ago

we used to sit on the picnic blanket

in summer, I wouldn’t need the jacket

and we’d enjoy cuddles and footsies

but like the green grass of this lawn

bodies wither, among even the strong

and the first frost has come and gone,

this field’s not in its glorious Spring

so a bouquet for my bride I bring


one might think I’d run out of words

as if the flow of my conversation

was like a dam whose verbal reservation

had leaked out, now dry to the bone

but as a musician whose concentration

is dedicated to one instrument alone

and can make music without a thought

my words dance from my mouth unhindered

freely sharing thoughts about friends

neighbours, our kids and their children

(she’s always known how to listen)

I mention her sister (who needs discussing)

And Penny Adams who got her driving license

I think she’s done it just to feel young

(But I wouldn’t tell that to just anyone)

then I remember my idea (one of my worst)

when began driving our son, our very first

I wanted to teach him so as to save money

but into a police car somehow we reversed

I laugh and the talk turns a sixpence

and I commence to talk of when we kissed

for the first time on the bench

by the red and yellow fence


The tears and chuckles come and go

But that I need to tell her, this I know

my heart skips a beat

I’m shifting my feet

body’s giving off heat

Does she already know about the other lady?


“You may already be aware of this…”

I pause like a child caught with a cookie

Thinking up an explanation like a rookie

“I met a woman for lunch on Wednesday.”

She responds with a dead silence

I squeeze my sweaty hands together

search for strength to say this better

“It was Kelly who you’ve met a couple times

at Christmas parties. She was PA

to one of my colleagues. Wednesday

was the the first time we met

out of the office… the two of us.”

more dead silence as I sip my coffee

I want her to say something!

I feel the weight of my ring

Is this betrayal? Does it sting?

What’s she thinking of me now?

Have I broken my wedding vow?

I remember four years ago she told me

she wanted me to see other women

but I have never been comfortable

with the idea; even now I’m not

“It was nice. I enjoyed talking

with her. It made me feel warm.

Don’t misunderstand. It’s not like

with you. I feel so safe talking with

you. I always have. But I want…”

I slow my breath and speak with calm

as I clear my throat to drop the bomb

“…I want to see her again, and you need

to know my love for you has not decayed.”

Does she think my words a Judas kiss?

Have I mocked our love in saying this?

I weep in her presence mutter more

and then after a while without looking up

I feel her smile she understands

I release the tulips from my hands

say “I love you”, and end my coffee date

with my partner, that gravestone

that for almost four years I’ve known

and I turn to leave the cemetery

stool and coffee flask in hand


One Response to “SST8 alternative poem 2nd draft”

  1. Anne January 25, 2015 at 1:12 am #

    I think this might be more relevant to SST8 theme in that it’s a coffee date – I like the way you lull us into thinking it’s a date with your wife and reveal it’s actually at her grave but the rhyming gets a bit lazier towards the end and seems a bit hackneyed – probably around the driving lessons for the son part – changing the word order just to fit a rhyme in there is too clumsy and ruins the delicacy of what you’re talking about and I don’t think you need to spell it out quite so much either – we get that it’s her grave without you actually saying it – I really wish you would try writing this without rhyme and then slip the rhyme back in there – I almost feel that you could have the first part as it is and when he starts confessing maybe drop the rhyme altogether – so his confession is more real, without artifice of any kind. Just a thought.
    The other poem is quite mysterious and I think having heard it in George’s voice could work well as a collaborative performance – so I’m torn here – it’ll be interesting to hear what other people think – what’s the protocol with bringing in a new poem at this stage of proceedings?

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