Me and the stories- poem for dVerse

The thing is to tell my story, not yours, not steal your pain to pass off as my own,
not take your truth to be turned into lies, and yet to be touched by your words,
as they become part of me, a softening under the skin of my heart.
I am the things that I hear, I am the low hum of traffic, the rattle of trailers
I am the sound of the stream that runs by the door of the house,
I am the echo of birdsong, the harsh, croaking cry of the rooks.
I am the sum of your words, and my words, and the words that I read,
and the buzz f the screen, the machine that connects me to you and
the stories of others, words gathered and tumbled, piled high up and teetering
and I am the child who runs up the passage, and the mother
turning the story over and over, inspecting it with me and looking for clues,
and the father who leans in, expectant, and sharing his fears, and I
am the hiss of hot water that’s filling the cup, and the crunch of the biscuit,
and a sudden dark rumble of thunder, and rain on the window,
and wind in the trees, and I go forth, I go forth, and I listen,
and the thing is to tell my story, not yours.
I am the girl at the checkout, the man with the trolley,
and the dog at the door, and the cat that slinks under the hedge,
I’m the deep throb of the lorry, the shrill of the phone,
and the words and the words and the words and the words.

I wrote this for tonight’s dVerse prompt. Gina is prompting tonight, and she asks us to think about what sits underneath our poems, or alongside them – the hum of our lives. How does our non-writing self influence our writing self? I hear a lot of difficult, painful stories in my line of work. I make a conscious effort not to appropriate them – they are not mine to tell – but I’m sure they seep in at the edges. Thinking about that got a bit jumbled up with a Walt Whitman poem I read last night: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/there-was-child-went-forth-every-day and I tried to bring an echo of that – but I can’t do those immensely long lines. This is a very wide poem for me. My poems tend to be tall and thin.

21 thoughts on “Me and the stories- poem for dVerse

  1. the breadth of your poem reflects the impact of your drone, it gives you depth of emotion and empathy not just sympathy and casual encounters with life. totally respect how you give credit to the smallest gesture and nuance of the hum in your life Sarah. Now I understand better the strength of your poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having my own difficult, painful stories, and having had conversations with counsellors and therapists in the past, I understand how other people’s stories can seep into the background hum – as can other poet’s writing. I love the idea that stories become a softening under the skin of your heart, Sarah, how you’ve have woven all the background noises together and those ‘words gathered and tumbled, piled high up and teetering’.Thin, wide, short or tall, your drone is intricate and humane.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate to some of your descriptions and I thought this line was really good as it relates to being a poet reading other poems:
    I am the sum of your words, and my words, and the words that I read

    Really like the wide long sentences format Sarah.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fabulous verse, Sarah, of how we absorb each other’s words and yet each must write ourown story! The words (words,words) and the width are perfect for musings about your process and place.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Consciously or otherwise, our experience and observations tend to merge. Who can witness something and not feel a part of the moment?
    And your repetition… it’s not labored, pulling the reader in with a subtle tug.
    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the enjambment, the lengthy lines, but most of all how this piece encompasses so many scenarios, whether they are ours or someone else’s, they become stories, words…poetry. Stunning work!

    Liked by 1 person

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