Memoir National Poetry Month Nature Poetry Writing

23 – The Fine Print: A Dream

I promised you a diamond
he says of our courtship,
but never a ring —
and he laughs with that smile,
like I’m in on the joke.
We make a contract —
verbal, never signed,
then I invite them in
and tell them my stories.

I’m charming and kind,
in just the right ways,
endearing and fun
everything they want,
until it’s time for me to leave.
That’s the hardest part,
as they forget the agreement,
so I do it slow to start.

I pack up my interesting bits,
then take back my affection,
I pull at the threads of what’s left
until there’s nothing to hold onto.
That’s when they leave — THEY end it
and the contracts breaks by default.

He sees me crying then and
shapeshifts to the one I remember,
pulls me to his chest and holds on
as tight as that first embrace years ago,
the perfect fit, the smell of old books and cedar,
then a devilish laugh and I wake
to the sound of tears pouring down,
midnight thunder and wicked, wicked lightning.

Image by Jason Holley. Poem ©2023, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.

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