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15 March 2013

Just an opinion

Below is a poem I wrote a couple years ago when a friend lost his son in a drowning accident.

I went to a symposium a month ago and met a guy who was a professor of English at a prestigious school for a number of years. He was kind enough to look at this poem and offer feedback. I'm curious what a regular reader thinks of the change. Which is better? Actually, I don't think I'm going to say which is which. I'd be curious to hear #1 or #2.

If I get some responses (indicating interest in this particular post), I will say in a later post which is the original and which is the new one.

#1

Invulnerable child.
You raced through long days
like all the year was Summer.
Broad columns
your thin shoulders.
Arms all bone
cutting through harshest misery.
I feel them about my neck
even now.

The din you made in our home,
I despair its departure.
Hallway photos now
hang hollow, flat, without texture.

Hole in our family.
Eternal child to linger,
remain in marble, a perfect David.
Can you see me and smile,
like Time is a circle
and you in front and behind?

Pain is stubborn concrete,
rough on my hand, bruising,
barrier to tomorrow.
It may crumble in time.
I am told.

I will look for you then,
the glint in your eyes
shining welcome.
Not closed as I see now.

#2
Invulnerable child.
Youthful body of health
and energy. You raced
through your long days
like all the year was Summer.
Your thin shoulders held such
strength. Your arms all but bone,
they could cut through the harshest misery.
I can feel them about my neck.
Even now.

Your pleasant outcry, the din
you made in our home,
I despair in its departure.
Photos hung in the hall will be hollow,
flat and without texture.

Hole in our family now that you are,
eternal child who will linger,
you will remain in marble as perfect as David.
Can’t you still see me and
smile, like Time is a circle
and you are both in front and behind?

I cannot look beyond this day.
Pain is a wall made fresh
of stubborn concrete.
The feel is rough on my hand, bruising.
It may crumble in time.
I am told.

I will look for you then,
for the glint of your eyes
shining with welcome. Not closed
as I see them now.