Tag Archives: regret

You Wonder

You wonder
if you’ve ever
been imagined
into someone’s day
someone’s life
someone’s fantasy—
have you ever
been wished
onto a plane
or into the woods
or into a warm bed
on a winter night
for a connection
that had nothing
to do with sex
and everything
to do with love—
and you wonder
if even once
you’ve been wanted
by the one you want—
if even once
there’s been a match
in this universe
that could have
saved your life
pulled you up
and out of despair
but both of you
believed the other
deserved a kind
of perfection
out of your price range
so both of you
ended up here
on a blank page—
one of you writing
and one of you
reading into it
whatever you can.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-28-17

“Waiting by the Window” by Carl Holsoe, 1865

Now

The childless mother
wants to be alone on Mother’s Day
to stare out the window
into the world she no longer shares
with the little boy, who long ago,
brought her glistening dandelions
bursting from his little brown hand
and decorated her hair
with the yellow joy of life—
treasures collected after a storm
turned the earth to mud.
That day wasn’t Mother’s Day—
but it’s the one she remembers
on the second Sunday each May
when she’d give anything to go back
and withdraw the reprimand
for the traces of mud he left
on his way to make her smile.

 

DeMaris Gaunt
5-9-16

Priorities

Things should be done
in order of importance
which means I should exit this room
and enter a state of reflection
before picking up the phone
to offer my condolences
on the death of a certain someone.
After that dreaded
and obligatory task
I should make a few more
phone calls that reinforce my love
to those too far away
to invite to dinner
or to drop in on unexpectedly
on a Sunday afternoon.
But things are never done
in the order of their importance
which is why I’ll just sit here a little longer
watching the sky darken
and descend into shadow
before I go to bed.
I want to cross something simple
off my list, which keeps getting longer
the longer I stare at this page.
The houseplants, for days,
have been thirsty.
They are still alive
and I watch them bow to my power.
The watering can is patient
in the mud sink.
There’s no reason in the world
I can’t fill the goddamn thing with water,
and restore the wilting leaves—
except that it reminds me
how easy it would have been
to make a phone call last week
to someone who will never again
be picking up the phone.

DeMaris Gaunt
8-23-15

Hypothetical Emergency

Turn around.
Go back.
Rewind the tape
and edit everything
you said to make it
sound just right.
It’s what you’d do
if you didn’t have
so many other
things you needed
to accomplish—
like going to sleep
and waking up or
taking a long hot bath
or finishing off
the strawberry
ice cream
that you almost
forgot was in the
freezer
buried under
the box of frozen
eggrolls and the 10lb.
pork loin that could
send you to the ER
if it slid out and
crushed your big toe—
and the cheerful
young nurse
would stitch you up
while the doctor wrote
you an unrefillable
prescription
for the pain—
as if they’d taken care
of your most critical
emergency.

DeMaris Gaunt
6-30-15

Risks

We don’t take them
like we used to
like we planned to
like we promised ourselves
we would when we were
young and brave
and much more beautiful
than we thought we were.
Risks were never quite
as life or death
as they are now in this
losable house that is paid for,
in this blue room
with darker blue curtains
which keep out the sun
and its daily promise
of bright happy endings.
I cannot write the letter
that I’ve meant to write
for twenty years
because I don’t know
what kind of audience
will be standing around
in the kitchen
when the mail is dumped
onto the table, or who might
follow you with curiosity
when you exit the room
holding the envelope
with both our names
handwritten on the front.
Wouldn’t I risk upsetting
your contentment
with an account of our love
and our losses?
No.
I fear
it’s my own contentment
at risk if I find myself
waiting for a reply
that may never come.

DeMaris Gaunt
6-18-15