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The Flood

14 Apr
The Flood

Elizabeth Easter‘s award-winning poem below is  melodramatic and angst-y, as befits meeting with a long-ago ex-fiance and finally saying all the things unsaid.

She first met him when she was sixteen and he a musician in his early twenties — the stuff of romantic fantasies — and after musical collaborations where she wrote the lyrics and he wrote the tunes, after an engagement ring and dreamy plans, he sang his songs and played his guitar for another Elizabeth, and for many other women whose names she did not record.

But, as she expresses in “The Flood”, rejection is not the end, nor is one person the future.

The Flood

You left
a high-water mark
on the walls of my heart–
a crusted undulating line
that marks the end
of the rising filthy tide
of pollution I once called
love.

Puddles
of receding emotion
lap against my reality boots
and cover the toes,
but I feel nothing,
wading through the muck and
debris like Peter walked on
water:

If I
look down, I might sink
into that miserable morass
of self-pity and doubt,
mourning the lost years
and cursing you for taking them,
for making the dreams
die.

Buckets
of memory bleach
saturate the walls and wash away
disease, letting the clean things shine through,
leaving behind the bones of a house
in which laughter will ring
again.

c2000, EE

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