Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mary Lee Bragg

Carol’s Thoughts

She thought she could try it out
that once wouldn’t hurt.
She thought she could quit any time.
that all you need is will power.

She thought he was really a good person inside
that it was going to work out this time.
She thought she could trust her instincts.

She thought she had put all that behind her.
She thought it would never happen again.

She thought a change of scenery would help.

Carol’s Words

She quizzes me on musical terms –
mimes Sl –enn-n-taaann-do,
takes a giant step
her hand tracing the high arc and fall --

A word never used in music
where ritard and diminuendo
say it all.

She calls me Braggovitch or Braggadocio,
Garb or Garbo – not for my famous silence –
but because we both like words
backwards and forward.

She writes to me that it all
a word I’ve never seen anywhere
except in her life.

She says Chalk it up to experience,
as if those moments
will run in the rain
like human outlines on a sidewalk,
as if we’re the ones doing the marking.

We don’t chalk experience.
It tattoos us
with designs we
don’t get to choose –
barbed wire around an arm
teardrops under each eye
someone else’s initials.

Carol’s Actions

She moved away.
She moved around.
She moved in with.
She moved out on.

She moved back.
She moved in.
She moved on.
She moved out.

He moved in.

They moved around.
They moved away.

She moved out.
She moved back.

She moved out.
She moved back.

She moved out

She is still.

Mary Lee Bragg is a member of the Ruby Tuesday writing group.  Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada and the US, including Ascent, Grain, Bywords Quarterly, Pith and Wry and Symbiosis II.  Her novel, ShootingAngels, was published in 2004, and her poetry chapbook How Women Work in 2010.  The three poems here were first published in her chapbook, Winter Music, winner of the 2013 Tree Reading Series Chapbook Prize (video)..

1 comment:

  1. In addition, our son stuffed his bear in a drawer, and when I called to retrieve it, they gladly dropped it in the mail for us.