Memoir Poetry

Narrative Arc

We blurred the shape of time,
bent it forwards and back,
twisted it enough to find common ground
there in those early fairy tale days
when I was so astonished by Us I wept

Our movements so in sync
it seemed we were cut from one bolt of cloth
only one stored for a decade or more in a castle
full of favorite old books and songs
and endless stories — his and mine
and the ones we tell ourselves about Love
and who we are IN Love

But I never thought to look up
see the turrets and towers along the wall,
pay note to the bunker safely guarded,
the pock marks in that common ground,
the mortally wounded specters
who watched their watches
betting on our time
our precious, precious time

I thought the enemy was age
that Loss would come as natural cause and effect, expected
a well-roundedness to its execution
but I was wrong

Loss seeped slowly between the cracks I didn’t know at first were there
forced itself into the weakest places of Us
the way ivy overtakes mortar in a wall
until all that was left was the evidence of time we call Memory.

©2023, Jen Payne

2 replies on “Narrative Arc”

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