And Then, Before I Die


Photo: wifelyperson.com

Photo: wifelyperson.com

I see the vacuum,
upright in the
corner of the room,
understand my work
remains undone.

I catch my lover’s
glance, stretch
out my hand but
words I try to speak
remain within.

Outside, our world is
chilled. Tumbling snow
covers earth.
I close my eyes, pray that
whatever lies ahead, my hope
remains unshaken.

An old poem posted for dVerse Meeting the Bar. It’s my week to tend the bar and the prompt is to write of a difficult or spicy subject using imagery or metaphor to make your point…but perhaps you already knew that since I accidentally posted it over the weekend when I was writing it! I hope you’ll join us with a poem of your own. The pub will open Thursday, 1500h EDT. If it’s cold where you are, I’ll be serving up a virtual hot brandy. It seems as though winter overtook autumn here today.

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36 thoughts on “And Then, Before I Die

  1. For me, Victoria, as I read this poem, I envisioned an elderly lady I knew years ago who’d had a stroke and missed being able to do the ordinary things like housework. She could not speak… but she somehow communicated this to me. And when she could tell that I understood she got very excited that she was heard despite her lack of a voice. Her courage showed me that she was indeed facing what was ahead.

    I realize that this is my own interpretation; however, whenever I want to complain about housework, I think of her and am grateful that I still can…

    Blessings ~ Wendy

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  2. I love the feel of this poem. I just hope that, when it’s my “time,” I don’t see my vacuum!

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  3. claudia says:

    just lately i was sitting in my room, looking at my books and scribbles and paintings and was wondering what they will do with them once i’m gone.. so much things /work/ideas will never be finished then and yet we left our footsteps.. a moving write victoria.. and so sad that i missed the prompt…

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  4. ManicDdaily says:

    ps – and inspiring poem. k.

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  5. ManicDdaily says:

    How funny that we both use the vaccum cleaner in poems about fear and spirituality! I wouldn’t have thought of it as that kind of image but it somehow crops up. This is a beautiful poem. I know how difficult it is to do the prompt and post–I have a terrible time with it. Thanks though for the inspiring post. k.

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  6. I think it’s the small, infinitesimal things that strike us most in these circumstances. I remember the dripping tap in my dad’s hospital room and every crease and pattern of the curtains. A very well-written piece.

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  7. clawfish says:

    darkly comic yet there is a richness of life even hope

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  8. Rallentanda says:

    A touch of dark humour thinking of the vacuum before dying as unfinished business.Prayer that one’s faith survives the test of endurance. Thought provoking!

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  9. My views into this piece clutched onto the vacuum– I see You as that object, inanimate, waiting to meet your outward work; the lover’s glance & unspoken words, your caution that wants to hear something yet, its comfortable without; the cold that’s outside is what is happening or hanging on inside the soul of your space. I probably weakly etched my impressions, hopefully you understood me. Blessings friend ~Debbie

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  10. Teresa says:

    This is very beautiful and touching.

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  11. Hope unshaken, that is for me….Nicely done in your poem.

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  12. kaykuala says:

    This really works for me, Victoria! There is some sadness in the offing! It’s more than just helping out in the act of carpet cleaning! Great!

    Hank

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  13. Beautifully expressed… excellent poem!

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  14. shanyns says:

    Very good. Love this. 🙂

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  15. Truedessa says:

    First, I had fun with the prompt thank you. I enjoyed your poem the second stanza really brought it home..I catch my lover’s glance..lovely image..

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  16. adamsmurphy says:

    One word: expressively-impressive!!

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  17. It’s not only in winter when hope gets thin but this metaphor works for all the implications in between. Very powerful meaning in a minimum of words.

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  18. I love this poem of yours…excellent write. 🙂

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  19. Deep! Simply amazing work of poetry.

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  20. Laurie Kolp says:

    The words remaining within is what jumps out at me… so many different ways to take this, Victoria.

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  21. janehewey says:

    your second stanza catches me. with your images of vacuum and hand and snow, you illicit distinctly cool sensations. hope feels thin but unshaken here as the earth under new snow.

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  22. nico says:

    That edgy feeling that tempts one to despair, based on nothing but a premonition, a change in weather, unspoken words. (Why do we always talk about teenage angst–I, for one, have never quite been able to shake it.) Excellent work!

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  23. howanxious says:

    Melancholic… yet marked by a hopeful ending. Beautiful write.

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  24. Glenn Buttkus says:

    hope does spring eternal from every poetic breast, & somehow you have found form & emotion to express mundane concerns that transcend their commonness, and take flight as paper word birds; nice flight & ride: thanks.

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  25. Marya says:

    I love how you transition from the quotidian to the timeless –very effective.

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  26. The image and words work so beautifully together. The silence, oh the silence.

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  27. Wow, this is power. You have done it. These images sing and sting the eyes.

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  28. This was a sadness and melancholy in this… so real the concern of unvacuumed floors.. and words staying in within.. and that hope in the end (or maybe).

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  29. annotating60 says:

    Victoria the link at dVerse is closed>KB

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  30. Mama Zen says:

    The first stanza really says it all for me.

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  31. annotating60 says:

    Victoria there is a silence to this poem that is very loud. >KB

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  32. Susan Chast says:

    I.Love.This. Poem! The hope is in the daily tasks and hand of a lover, with the vacuum meaning so much more than cleaning the carpet: Getting from the surface down to the essentials, seeing the forest and the trees.

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  33. Mary says:

    Victoria, this seems so real and true to me. I think all of us will go with work undone & with words inside that we can no longer speak! Powerful.

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  34. brian miller says:

    what a pensive mood this is for me…i feel kinda caught in the moment…things to do, the words wont come….and thoughts of where all this might lead for me in the future….

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  35. beautiful poem!!!! it definitely rises the hope!!! 🙂

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  36. Metaphor is my stumbling block! You are good at it. Autumn has taken a step backwards and let summer have a swan song here. (Is that metaphor?)

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