the skill of forgetting

the skill of forgetting –
more than a little like whittling –

slow and methodical,
always the blade pointed away

from a body, lightly curled
over the casually dwindling medium

those of us who have become
proficient at this

have learned even to hum a bit –
something slightly off-key,

off-kilter, with words long ago
lost to rag-quilt memory,

something once buried,
but half-summoned up

by letting fly the shavings,
paring away moments most aggrieved

© Sarah Whiteley

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2.18.2015

there’s nothing quite so fine
as drinking prison wine

sitting on upturned milk crates
with an aging Boxer dog

and the best red-headed smartass
I’ve ever had the pleasure

of not completely falling for –
not like all those others

some lovers leave and others
you just can’t shake,

but none of that matters –
there’s comfort in the heft

of a good friend’s laughter
and forgetting in a bottle of rye

for those times when time
doesn’t go quite fast enough

and you can’t leave that burden behind

I might sleep better…

if I could unravel the day
at the end of it,
let it hang out the window
and weave itself into the wind

let the crows take what they may
and drag the bits away –
to line nests and tumble down
the sidewalk at dusk,

a curious thread of red
for wandering-hearted walkers
and transient orange cats
to watch and wonder at

© Sarah Whiteley

Check back later this week for a giveaway! I’ll be posting details on how to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of my little poetry chapbook, No Direction But Home.

remembering you forgetting me

here, just now, I’ve recalled
how mine are companionless hands
and how the heart curls inward of late,
cradling the curiosity of contrition
in spite of knowing with certainty
I am far more whole now
than I was while trying to fit
bits of you into places
that could not trust the intrusion

dearest love (for you remain thus),
yours will ever be the heart
to which mine responds in kind,
and though we are far beyond bearing
this distance is as none at all
I will rise and break at each cold day
remembering you forgetting me
but hearing more in your silence
than what forgetting conveys

© Sarah Whiteley

wanderer’s refrain

in delight
we paint the dark
from night descending
and fold tomorrow
into the tide
wandering feet
forget to dream
of horizons
other than home
and words
beat as moths
against the light
of the breath
from your lips
pull the roads
right out my heart
and startle the stars
down from the sky
the moon forgets to rise
feathers forget to fly
but I –
I recall the shine
of our limitless mind
and the shadow
we cast over time
over space
over these words
of mine

© Sarah Whiteley