Walking Away

Where do poems come from? Anyone who writes poetry asks that question and has that question asked of them by others who wonder how a poem comes to be. There are many articles and books on the subject, but still there is no single answer. Every poet writes differently and often in a lifetime writing patterns and habits might change, too.

To show you how oddly this can happen, I’ve decided to post a poem that appeared in my chapbook, Erasing the Doubt (published 2015 by Finishing Line Press). “Walking Away” is  a poem that has its own style, its own cadence and its own meaning. If I were to read this somewhere, I think I’d say it feels very much like an old fashioned poem, as if it echoes a voice from long ago. How did that happen? There is an unusual story behind this poem and how it came to be. It came to me as a whole poem when I was up late writing and suddenly became very, very tired. It appeared almost dreamlike to me. I typed it up quickly, read it once and went to bed. When I read it the next day, it didn’t feel or sound like me, but obviously I had written it. Strange indeed. This experience happened only once in my life.Was another poet speaking through me? Or was this merely a side freed from regular consciousness because of fatigue?

I’d love to hear your comments on this poem and what it means to you when you read it. Feel free to leave a message

I’ve recorded this poem if you care to listen as well as read. Just click on this link:

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Walking Away

 

When you go, where do you wander?
When you leave me, do you look back?
I sit here, book in hand, not reading.

           The wind blows fiercely through now.

 

They asked how long you had been silent,
And I answered with a lie, which
Was not the truth but might have been.

          The wind blows silently through now.

 

Did you hear me whispering to you?
Did you hear what I had to say? Or did
I turn away and only mouth the words?

          The wind blows piercingly through now.

 

Where do you go when you wander?
Tell me what you see. When you look
At me, I feel you walking away.

          Lamenting the darkness, the wind blows softly now.

 

 

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“Walking Away” was published in Erasing the Doubt by Mary Kendall (c) 2015, Finishing Line Press.

 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Walking Away

  1. I’ve experienced something like that twice. Years ago my mother had Alzheimer’s. Recently, before he died, my husband forgot his command of English. Thankfully his caregiver speaks Marathi and Hindi and could speak to him and translate. I know a few random words. He at least knew me. It’s a lovely poem, Mary. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  2. Reminded me of sitting with my mother after she had stopped speaking because of her Alzheimers. The links didn’t work for me, so I don’t know if that relates to the actual story or not. (K)

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    • The link is simply me reading the poem aloud. You haven’t missed a thing. I’ll check the link to be sure it’s working properly. I’m so sorry you had to witness your mother coping with Alzheimers, and yes, I think this poem is a reflection of witnessing the loss of communication. That’s something most of us fear most because we so associate the ability to express ourselves with being human. When that disappears we are challenged into reevaluating so much. I am sure your mother’s illness was very challenging and painful, but it is probably what led you to be such a great communicator with words. Thank you so much for sharing. ❤

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