YOU TOOK THE OTHER STAIRS

Image result for eurydice descending to hades in renaissance painting

You went down the other stairs

Instead of the usual way, to avoid me—so you could show

How much you hate me. I saw you. I know.

A friend told me the future is unpredictable. And I said no.

I’ve seen the future. The future is the past.

Things around us change, but we don’t. The soul does not change.

I saw you take the other stairs. You are still the same.

You haven’t changed. You love to walk away

Without a word and forget everything, and today

There you were, doing it again—no, trying to do it again.

You never had faith in analyzing the past;

You think to walk away from it, wordlessly and fast.

You walked down the other stairs and I saw,

In that awfully simple moment, the essence of your soul.

You would race off like that when you loved me,

Too enraged, in your sudden mood change, to say goodbye

—And I ran after you, sometimes, in tears.

 

The blessed can forget the past, but you cannot.

The happy can glide away from the past without trying.

Goodbye, and hello, to the sun. Goodbye, and hello, to the evening sky.

Who recalls the shape of the evening clouds? Or the way

The falling music sounds in the evening? Now tomorrow comes,

And the truly glad escape, without looking back, their sad and fated past.

You recall how the music sounds in the dying evenings, it sounds

In the sadness of your soul, it sounds in the stairs of your soul

Even though you close and lock the doors.

You, who make a great show of leaving the past behind,

Cannot. It lives. And I cannot help you. It still lives in your mind.

 

The prophecy I spoke to my friend is that we

Are always the same—the future’s peaceful, sweet solemnity

Stretching out to the blessed, is the same peace that I

Find now—in reflection, study and empathy

Of the past I love. But you hate the past

And because of this you suffer now—as you walk with purpose,

Down the other stairs…there you go!

Proud, silent, angry, hateful, steadily and fast

As you did—lovely creature whom I loved!—in the past.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    January 1, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Happy New Year 2017…

    I THOUGHT THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD HAD COME

    “then pealed the bells more loud and deep…” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I thought the beautiful world had come
    haunting the space that used to be
    filled with human misery

    and gold to the touch and unfolding as the rose.
    soon sighed the angels but not yet
    and I couldn’t sleep for remembering

    what I could not forget that the beautiful world
    is possibly near to each one expecting it
    though tempest driven and alone.

    keep watch oh my soul I wanted to say
    and open the casements in an old fashioned way
    and let the spangled air rush through

    the rooms of a former bitterness.
    and the ghost I was unlatched the stars
    where God had healed the inward scars in

    the winter air, where it floated, the beautiful world
    just out of reach.
    tell your children this

    in their fine sleep.
    that the beautiful world may come.

    mary angela douglas 1 january 2017

  2. January 2, 2017 at 1:40 am

    Very nice poem, Mary.


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