admitting some surprise.
an unpleasant awakening.
an embarrassment perhaps?
no warning. none at all.
expectations, quite something else.
a fair enough image painted on
a wall of thought. you look. you see
a reasoned landscape, edges
we emboss, we sketch a given name.
you read their words. well confirmed
of shape. texture too. tempered by
experience. a breathing wind.
forecasted fair and clear, expectations.
good hair. slender built. likewise,
same face, same eyes. studied hands.
shadow puppet play on a mosaic wall,
broken thoughts we attend to mend.
suppose we’re soon accustomed after
birth, to see what we see. how a story
begins. chapters grow from measured
we play along. fact and fiction strummed.
made to fit. what we don’t ask matters
what then when the mirror speaks?
a voice rendered as a nail does.
who’s this pretender tearing groomed
meanings aside? what my ear does not
and does recognize! my own voice in
my ear, playing back to me.
years of careful architecture undone.
any other ear can hear.
even words restrained close to the chest
say aloud. there’s more than seen of me.
I speak with the voice of a stranger inside.
yet recognize meanings implied.
word of mouth. (even lies reveal truth)
neil reid © january 2013
Well, an interesting prompt. However, at first glance, nothing at all comes to mind. So why not then alter the formula a bit? I found another “other” that I might notice – my own self (if you hadn’t already realized). And (spoiler alert as they say) that other, more specifically, was myself hearing my own voice for the first time in life from a recording outside of my own real-time voice. Something of a shock, as for many folks I’m told.
Being rather shy, and with reasons why, I had over years “presented” an acceptable image of myself to others, as well to myself. Hearing “that” voice was both hearing a stranger speak and in the same moment hearing what was within and under the voice, aspects of me I was not so keen to reveal.
How well does this poem accomplish that dual recognition? I’ve reworked it now three times. While better expressed than the initial draft I still think it falls some short of what I’d hoped for it to do. But as it is, time enough for now.
(Poems is hard.) (huh!) (but interesting)
Written for the We Write Poems prompt #139, A Moment Unexpected. As you come unnoticed upon a person you well know, describe the physical elements and your emotional response.