Polly

Writings and Witterings

Latent

19 Comments

This poem was short listed for the Paragram Poetry Prize in 2013. I was invited to Covent Garden to read both this and the long listed ‘Hobgoblin Trees.’ Tonight I’m posting it for dVerse, where we have Kelly behind the bar. Kelly’s asked us about scents that linger, ‘Latent’ fits the criteria.

Latent

Grey, receding,
the fragrance of his shaving gel.
He carries an iPad.

The first thing to leave
is the light of his eyes.
I touch his absence;
a disembodied voice,                  ‘see you later.’

There are magical contortions
made by dust motes,
they swirl in the sunbeams that
pour through the east window,
and echo, ‘later, later.’

I still feel the tweed jacket,
rough against my fingers,
it lingers with his shadow in the room.

Polly Stretton © 2016

 

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19 thoughts on “Latent

  1. This touched me very much ~ I specially admire this part:

    The first thing to leave
    is the light of his eyes.
    I touch his absence;

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  2. Excellent poem, the closing stanza is killer-good. You get a lot of mileage out of brevity; nice job.

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  3. Sigh.. I can feel the emotions here.. beautiful write 🙂

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  4. Yes, excellent! The scent does linger…no doubt at all.

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  5. tender, touching, lovely

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  6. Super write. The first two lines and the last stanza – together an incredible poem in themselves.

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  7. Wonderfully written… And filled with heart. I can feel the love and the loss.

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  8. “The first thing to leave is the light of his eyes”…that line really grabbed me, and that disembodied voice…later. Powerful, Polly, tender and touching.

    I believe you were moving last time we communicated (it’s been a while), and I see you have a new name too. Wishing you well, Polly, and a Happy New Year! xo

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  9. Powerful emotions Polly! Félicitations!

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  10. Short but so potent, each word carefully weighed.

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  11. The scent, the touch of his tweed, but most of all the gradual absence… Receding.. too many relationships are just that. Wonderfully written.

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  12. This is just lovely, Polly–it is very well-worked and wrought, and the feeling of absence is beautifully limned. Thanks. k.

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  13. When smeLL
    of gel.. iS greater
    than spoken
    heArt
    muSic
    human
    fAils
    bEinG..:)

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  14. You tell a touching tale of losing a loved one.

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  15. I admire your poem. It evoked memories of something that I wrote called “Mom’s Itchy Skin”. Would you be willing to critique it please? If so, ….https://verbalstrings.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/moms-itchy-skin-inspired-by-ablution-by-amy-fleury/

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  16. Sweet poem some of the wonderful things that remain after a huge loss.

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  17. Beautifully written Polly, I can feel the emotion in your words…touch his absence…what a line!

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