I may have painted between the lines when I used Daddy’s shirt cardboard, but something in me wants to kick over the traces, do it differently, make a new statement.

I was just thinking, wondering which of my poems fits this mood and realized that while I’m not grieving any particular romance, the apparent loss of romance in later middle age–“which of course can have its creative compensations”–is a kind of grief. And if I tell the truth, it’s grief for losses I’ve been feeling in recent months rather than depression about the way things are. A subtle distinction perhaps but important and by no means an indication that every moment has been misery. Far from it. But I do have a poem that seems apropos:

THE NEXT TIME

the next time
I get a broken heart
I don’t want to act civilized
and talk things out
in a rational
manner

instead I want
to throw things
and make huge scenes
in public
places

I want
to hold on to his leg
as he drags me behind him
while he tries
to walk
away

I want
to break glasses
and smash plates
and not ever
clean it
up

I want
to cause a commotion
not take responsibility
feel sorry for myself
be self-indulgent
throw a tantrum
raise a ruckus
suffer loudly
be immature
have a fit
blame him
carry on
grieve
whine
moan
cry

and howl
at the moon

over and over
again

Note: The photographs “Green Set (c), (a)” appear in my photostream at Flickr.com.
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