Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Catcalls from the Coffin

You must know
when ghosts jingle loose change in their pockets,
and it sounds like Heaven’s bells,
it’s really just an old thought in a dirty shirt
doused in Dolce & Gabbana to mask the death wretch.

And yet, it sends you
right back there
in those moments of what
you don’t want to be.

You leave things behind,
but ghosts,
they return
in a stranger’s hands,

mouth, hair.

It seems you get pulled back
so easy.
A bad day, not enough sleep,
and you are there
holding hands with the haunts
playing ‘Ring Around the Rosie’
or singing don’t need ‘Nothin’ But a Good Time’
by Poison,

and it is, but it’s catchy,
and you start to want them back—
laughing, like the tune meant anything good.

You’ve outgrown them,
like those jeans you wore
—back when.
But they’re familiar
and that is comforting
when you don’t know what comes next.

you realize they really are too small
to fit your
Grown Up Responsible Life.
The one where it’s not just you anymore
and you know it.

Of course you do,
you’ve earned it,
by mud sucking
and light swigging
You can point to every scar,
stretch mark,
every smoky kohl black eyeliner pillow smear.

You’ve fought in too many wars,
sacrificed too much to get here.
Scraped and scrapped
and dug the hell out of your pride when
you had to.
You’re that much bigger now
for all that journeying.

But Oh to try them on again,
for just a few minutes—
gazing at yourself in the mirrored
hall of yesteryear
pretending you’d still look good
in it.

Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Wagner

I'm linking up to the dVerse Poets Pub for OpenLinkNight...the doors opened yesterday but they haven't closed yet so I am sliding on in to join the party!


Brian Miller said...

smiles....i like the close...

You leave things behind,
but ghosts,
they return
in a stranger’s hands,

mouth, hair.

so true..that is almost a poem itself...on the ghosts and memories...and seeing them in others....

really like though how it has been earned...and fought for...for sure...

ayala said...

A great write. Strong and I love it !

Justin Lamb said...

I like this. It flows really well.

Mary said...

I hear you about putting on those jeans of yesteryear. I have some of these jeans as well. And if they are a little bit tight, well c'est la vie! Smiles

Anonymous said...

Oh yes I know this one... Recently went clothes shopping for a wedding, stupidly thinking I can get away with wearing some of the latest fashions...a big was demoralising...sometimes no matter how you wish, or what your mind thinks you just can't go back. I loved an old thought in a dirty shirt...kinda sums it up! Terrific!!!

Sarav said...

Oh so many phrases that I loved in this, and the analogy of those beloved old jeans that just don't fit anymore--and your last stanza tied it together perfectly :-)

colleen said...

The title was worth the price of admission and I love the idea of ghosts jingling change in their pockets.

Anonymous said...

All those yesterdays buried in a coffin of memories, cat-calling us, mocking us, maybe even rebuking us for who we've become. But were those days truly better, or is that just the rose-tinted glasses?

I love how yoyu've tied all this together.

aka_andrea said...

This is superb! Those old comforts, a friend, a lover, the songs of your youth.Pull out that box of memories and it suddenly becomes a guage as to how far you've come.

Laurie Kolp said...

Being a grown-up can be so challenging.

Lisa A. Williams said...

I love this Jennifer. The things we've outgrown and left behind, so many in fact yet sometimes how we wish to go back for just a little while before we lived our grownup lives. Amazing poem!

ND Mitchell said...

A terrific trip through some of your yesterdays Jennifer. Really intriguing title and memories :-)

Fireblossom said...

That title is superb, and as usual your ending is sharp, succinct, and spot on.

Anonymous said...

This is powerful. I remember those jeans...sigh.

Celestial Dreamz said...

a superb poem :)

Anonymous said...

Lots of truth and power in this poem.