Poetry

After My Friend Phyllis Shows Me the New York Times Obituary Headline: ‘Lou Michaels, All-Purpose Player, Dies at 80, Missed Kicks in ’69 Super Bowl.’

by Rosemerry Trommer

When I die, let them write about
all the mistakes I’ve made.
Let them mention in the headlines
how many rejection letters
I’ve received from The Sun.
Let them say, “Missed her calling
for Broadway back in 1987.”
Let them say, “She trained hard, but
never won a Nordic skate race.”
They can note how my children
fought in front of company.
How every chocolate cake
I made sank in the center. How the beets
in my garden were never bigger
than golf balls. How I never even watched
the Super Bowl, much less
knew who played for the Colts
back in 1969 while I was still
forming in my mother’s womb
and Lou Michaels missed two
field goals that helped the Jets win.
What do any of us really accomplish?
My friend Wayne says,
“We do what we can
and have mercy.” Yes, let
them say I did what I could.
Let them say that I loved
the best I knew how and messed
that up, too. It’s what we do,
we who are kicking our way
to the back pages of the paper.
Well-intentioned and foundering,
faithful and confused as we are,
we mess up. Yes, mercy on us,
mercy on all our failing little hearts,
how they beat so sincerely, mercy
on this longing to shine, this
reminder again to kneel.
Read this and more excellent contemporary poetry at Rattle.

7 replies »

  1. ‘Yes, mercy on us,
    mercy on all our failing little hearts,
    how they beat so sincerely, mercy
    on this longing to shine, this
    reminder again to kneel.’ .. This I love!

  2. yes i believe any comparative evaluation of one’s ‘feeling’ in relation to another’s feeling is cheating even empathy is a disguise for an altruistic predatory form. virtually all of us accept ‘conscious decision making capabilities’ because it is easier to not listen and sympathetically agree with others because we think the same thoughts. thoughts are not feelings. we can collectively coast down the grapevine of ‘justified’ commentary, allowing reactionary ego-driven ‘spontaneity’ be our guides on a tour via scenic route of ‘hell on earth’ or we can decide to listen to our own feelings . . . and to other’s words . . . allowing ‘creation’ to operate ‘within’ owning the boundaries between self and other, becoming capable of expressing forms of feeling that may seem inappropriate to another’s sense of acceptability. one can still not give a flying rat’s ass about an opinion while still holding appreciation for others, of sincerely feeling apologetic for wrongs done, of feeling, expressing, and accepting the many forms of heart felt love and the capabilities of accepting others expressions of feeling without spontaneous interjection. intentional conscientious mindful silence is the Mortar of Coherence for the Blocks emotively bridge the void ‘heaven on earth’ . . . .if you see a flying rat’s ass . .Duck and Know you are going the right direction. Wow Tom, how intellectually poetic this sounds, kudo’s to you my love. Your pixie Godess Angela P.S. have you said anything outside the boundaries of our relationship that could be construed as inappropriate in the medley of poetic justice here. That wasn’t a question, lovely

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