A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.

November PAD Challenge, Day 9

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Feeding Swansblack_swan_on_a_lake_romantic_background_illustration

I am first to arrive at the house of a stranger who has roasted

a chicken, pureed kale and apples into a smoothie

and set the round table with three porcelain plates rimmed

with blue for this supervised lunch date.


We sit across from each other on the last warm

day in autumn. The tree above the wrought iron

gazebo drops its small seeds around us. I don’t know

the name of this tree and wonder what that says about me.


He’s uncomfortable with the position of the fire—

the way the wind whips the smoke into our faces.

I’m too busy trying to be good enough to notice. He wants

to start eating and I want to wait for our friend to arrive.


I need this chaparoned conversation to work

because I haven’t  done well on my own and I’m too old

to start spending my nights strolling the chain of downtown

bars trying to score free drinks from fat wallets.


Once I read a story about Gautami, a poor village girl who lived

to submit and obey. The prince took her as a concubine

and the son she bore rejected her, but Gautami found happiness

in a hut and the duty of feeding the palace swans.


If only my life were that simple.

If only.

~Pamela L. Taylor © 2013

Author: poetsdoublelife

Poet and strategy/data guru living in Massachusetts.

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