I’d like to re-write history.
I’d like to re-write history
this narrative does not appeal to me.
I look back on our collective infamies
how they mar my identity
how they reveal humanity
uglier than we seemed to be
uglier that we’ve… liked to think
painted as something I am not proud to see
So, I’d like to re-write history.
and for that matter,
I’d like to re-write Friday night
the things you said, then how I lied
re-imagine what you felt inside
the nuance to my replies
weave “perhaps, maybe” between the lines
of the scene re-playing in my mind
I do love you. I failed; I tried.
if I had known I’d hurt your pride!
O! I’d like to re-write Friday night ‘till truth I cannot recognize.
I’ve given my best work to childhood
to find a tale that sticks.
of late summers playing in the woods
of searching socks for ticks
of folding those pages in our children’s books
of scaly rainbow fish and Captain Hook
because we liked the way the pictures looked 🙂
to say, “Childhood was really, truly, simply, only good!”
and remember nothing else.
If I could re-write childhood..
for all of these un-pleasantries
that poke and prod and bleed “Reality!”
half of which begin, began, begot with me
I close my eyes and think
and like dough, I knead and shape
and shape. and knead. and re-shape until a story fits, almost
a narrative I can live with, at least
I get to work, again
I knead and shape and knead and shape some more
And I make my peace! or try
in hope I’ll never need again
not need of God nor need of Man
to justify just who I am
my conscience spot picked clean
And I strive
the End of all my being
is to be satisfied with ME
Copyright ©2018 Audrey McElrath
In completing this poem, I thought of the saying, “No man is an island” and looked it up on Google. I came to John Donne’s devotion to find that in the Old English, “island” is written “iland”. Thus, the second title of this poem! To read John Donne’s “No Man is an Island“