09
May
09

Talking to Strangers

No Madeleines. No Rosebud. No Arpege or Norel

Instead it’s talcum powder, honeysuckle and Marlboros.

Youthful beauty, set free by marriage,

Serially acquiring Mothers-in-law while shedding
Husbands and lovers.

Sojourns outside the homestead–depression, Depression,

Farmed out with brother, Operator, may I have Carlsbad 5-8734?

Recluse ranch wife, sauerkraut rotting in a pot

Under the table, Chamber-pot

Under the bed, no water, no power, no way…
4 july parade 48 or 49

Between the Missouri Buttes/Devil’s Tower
Ranch Life, 2nd husband & cattle drive from Oklahoma
Teaching seven rancher’s sons in a
One-room log cabin schoolhouse,
Wartime, no water, no power,
No way.

Freedom, strictly speaking, enlistment

Boot camp, new strangers

New husband, more strangers in a

Strange land,

A lifetime of attachments, adds child,

Sheds 3rd husband like that

Quickly heading back to the

Homestead (closely.)

Strange men, new loves, lost loves,

Child, but always talking to strangers

Quick easy friendly deeply

Listening

Revealing little, asking more.

Boston widows–unspoken, accepted, but

There must be pressure from

Kin, neighbors, strangers, breakdown–

Summer on a farm for the child–

Recovery, moving on

Best man in child’s life ever

Was a woman.

Growth, success, falls in love again

Like a school girl, marries #4

(5th if you’re counting)

Adds to maidenhead Burleson:

Miller, Russell, Patrick, <Boyle> Whitworth

But this talking to strangers

Brings love, connection, interest,

A collection

Friends flung far far far for her

(And me.)

Spirit lives as body fades.

But close, cradled, caressed, kissed

With such aliveness;

Memories fresh, scent, laughter not languishing,

Dipping her hand in the

Cool, fast stream &

Gripping the dripping fresh cress,

Head turning to me in triumph.


3 Responses to “Talking to Strangers”


  1. 1 Mike Tracy
    May 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Wonderful!

  2. December 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Very nice. This poem told the story of a life. Beautiful.

    • December 30, 2010 at 11:05 pm

      thank you for the kind words, pamela. it was the catalyst for ‘the hope chest’ & someday (when i’m rich and famous) all of it will be a collection of myths and truths about my mother.


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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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