She chose soft clothes.

Her bare feet are cold against the kitchen floor.

She chose soft clothes today,
as if her body was a child
in need of comfort.

She held on tight – the kettle handle
smooth beneath her palm –

her clinging on, like it’s
a lifeline linking her
to planet Earth

her feet are bare against the cold kitchen floor

she closed her hands around the cup –
heat almost pain,
pain almost heat –
but nothing warms her –

she trailed her fingers
over the wooden table,
letting the faint, fine ridges
of the grain be felt
letting the texture soothe her

her cold feet bare against the kitchen floor

she chose soft clothes today,
to hold her like a mother’s arms,
cradling her.

This is my second poem for the dVerse prompt tonight. Bjorn wonders what happens if we change “he” to “me” or “us” to “they”. I’ve already taken a poem from third person to first person – this one is the other way round. The original is here. 

13 thoughts on “She chose soft clothes.

  1. This time the shift has distanced me as a reader and the poem isn’t as intimate, although immediate because it’s written in the present tense. I like the way you started with sensation – the cold feet and the soft clothes and the ‘kettle handle smooth beneath her palm. The repetition of bare feet and cold floor emphasises how cold the character is, especially when
    ‘she closed her hands around the cup –
    heat almost pain,
    pain almost heat –
    but nothing warms her’.
    So sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Sarah, I’ve read them both and love them both. The one in the first person it’s your right between the eyes and the reader feels there in the room with you. This one, makes me an observer – whilst still having an impact. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have the same feeling here. I’m much more drawn in in the first person voice of the original, although without reading the original I would find this to be an emotional read. But there’s definitely a qualitative difference. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The original is so intimate, and I felt like I was there, while this has the feel of a tale hinting at more. That said, this still is a good write, and shows how perspective changes not only for the subject, but for the reader, as well.


  5. My first reading of this (in tandem with the first) was to wonder if the speaker here was the Other — husband or maybe child in the family drama. I mean, how do our beloveds see us? Never as poetic as us beholding our mirrors … But the third person works apart from that here as well, retreating across dimensions for vantage and explanation which the first person cannot really grasp. Plenty of pathos in those soft clothes, and cold feet on a bare floor is crossing enough in the domestic absolute.


  6. I read both, and then again, changing not just the person, but also the verb tense. Reading it in present tense changes the perspective again. I would almost like to see this as a single lengthy poem, with these changes incorporated, perhaps subtle descriptive or action changes within each verse. Very powerful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s