“Soon” and other poems by Lisa Bain



“Let’s get together soon,”
without setting a date
is the tactic we always use
to keep others on the line
without actually giving of our time.
You’ve made it clear you don’t have time for me,
so why would I tell you my secret
when everything would have to change?
I’m torn.
I’ll be a burden either way.
I’m stuck trying to decide which is more humane.
Do I inject grief now into your too busy timeframe?
Or wait and risk you maybe cursing my name
because I didn’t give you the chance to say goodbye?
I tried to tell you in my wordy way
but forgot you never read what I write,
so wouldn’t know I was going away.
The words are just too hard to say.
So sure,
let’s get together soon.



Swamp bubbles lurched from the mud below
belching the stench of repressed memories I hadn’t let go.
Forgotten trauma attacked in waves,
pain and self-loathing vomited in saving grace.

Wiping my mouth with the back of my fist,
I staggered to my feet,
this memory I would no longer resist.
Screaming my rage across the sky,
the swamp fell silent, still full of dark stains left to die.



We didn’t have an umbrella but,
laughing, you grabbed my hand.
Those Irish blue eyes were dancing
as you pulled me along,
dodging cars and cold November raindrops.

Inside a turf fire was burning.
Hot whiskey in hand,
we leaned in to hear over pub noise.
And despite the late hour,
we yearned to linger.

But we left once we were dry,
laughter subdued as confusion took hold.
The fire had warmed more than intended.
Were we becoming more than friends?
The opportunity to find out
washed away with the last of the rain.
We didn’t have an umbrella.


Too Small

No one hears my screams as I claw,
bound and trapped,
by barbed wire skin
two sizes too small.
I bleed and can’t catch my breath.
Why did I put it back on at all?



My heart is surely going blind.
I used to know every fleck of gold
In your hazel eyes,
Even if mine were closed.
I can’t see your eyes anymore.
I panic when I stumble and bump into the pieces of the old me
I no longer recognize; the ones I never put away.
The ones that now make me trip and fall.

My heart has gone deaf.
I used to hear the sound of your voice
Even if you were far away.
Like a buoy ringing out on a foggy sea, calling me home.
Now I can’t hear you at all.
In silence, I wreck upon the rocks and frown.

So I stare at photos, holding them close to my dying eyes,
And watch you get blurry and fade.

Please don’t disappear.

Soon and other poems © Lisa Bain 

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