Once upon a time I took a creative writing class in high school. Our most difficult assignment (for me anyway) was writing a sestina. This is a type of poem with a very particular set of rules, including reusing the same six words in a certain order throughout. I haven’t really done much poetry writing since my angsty teen years, but this one was a true feat to write, and after the darkness comes a glimmer of light, so I decided to share (did you catch my internal rhyme back there?).
Much lost time had elapsed since this woman
Could bear the abuse of her forgotten
Past. Now she’s silent and sadly withered,
As she is paralyzed, feeble, and old.
It is not her fault that she is so sad
And alone. She just remembers the rain.
Many things had happened in this dark rain
That could not be put aside. This woman
Had to block out the memories of sadness
And pain, which still linger on forgotten
Bruises and scars. Searching through her dark old
Eyes, are few memories but of old withered
Roses she had no time for, which withered
And died from lack of soft fallen rain.
Then she viewed the garden with roses old
And dead, A death this mistreated woman
Could not understand or ever forget
In her future, now present. And how sad
It is. Now time slips by in a sad
Way. When she was a young girl, her withered
Aunt would say, “You’ll, too, be forgotten
And ugly soon.” And on the window, rain
Would pelt to enforce the words this woman
Said. The girl trembled from these awful old
Words, then joined by those of the other old
Ladies who would tell her that she was sad
And worthless. Feeling as if the woman
Had stabbed her and made her become withered
In pain and grief. All this time the hard rain
Would beat in the poor girl’s mind. Forgotten
As she has, the abuse, she can’t forget
A sharp pain buried in her loving old
Heart. She looks back at all the times it rained,
And does not know what she feels, but a sad
Memory she can’t find in her withered
Mind. She is a loving, simple woman
The rain now can’t touch. Forgotten and sad
She is not, nor too old and withered.
Forgiveness makes her a happy woman.
–Terree L. Klaes– 1995