April 14, 2012

The last page

The novel sits inside me like an elephant
taking up all the room
I obsess about the characters
as though they are family
depending on me for advice

how will they get through this

I cry for them
the kind of crying that heaves
and leaves you sore

and then the last page comes
as it always does
how can I miss people I’ve never known
I suppress the urge to track down the author

just a few questions

weeks later
it is all so diluted
bits of emotion hang on
like plastic bags in trees

I feel guilty for moving on
and I want to tell them

you reminded me how to weep
in this way
you existed

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11 comments / Add Yours

I am reading a book by a man who writes about a kitten he rescued and loved in rural Northumberland, England. I am reading it slowly so as to savour every paragraph of this sweet story which this gentle man promised his cat he would write about someday. Samantha, every morning I have a gift of your poem a day in my e-mail box. I also love the mindfulness prompts.

Thank you so very much for all you do.


“I obsess about the characters
as though they are family
depending on me for advice…”

That is exactly how I feel when I write! Torn for a month over how the love triangle should be resolved – there is so much potential either way – and not even sure myself which ending to commit to, what will be best for the characters and the worlds they inhabit. I give it at least as much thought as I do my own life decisions, often changing my mind daily on which path to travel with them! And wondering what characters will come along to dream with if I let this novel or trilogy end. So well said Samantha!


“bits of emotion hang on like plastic bags in trees” interesting and wonderful line…
I’m really enjoying your words so much!!! Thank you.


As a voracious reader, oh does this poem resonate with me! That’s one of the best parts of reading, and something non-readers, I think, don’t understand. Lovely, lovely.


what book are you reading??


I wrote a poem modeling this one… thank you because even my husband (a strict and honest critic) liked this one!


I love when a book holds me like that!


All the novelists are arguing over which one of them made you feel this way. Even the most seemingly indifferent secretly wants it to be her.


All those characters become a part of us, don’t they? This is what tells us it was a novel worth reading, it seems to me. Excellent versifying of this idea!


You are inventing a new language! Thank you. I’m off to feed my Elephant!


Our writing is like our children filled with our fears, tears and joy. Bon courage! What causes us to bend and we do not break serves to make us stronger.


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