Real Toads – That Was Close!

This is for Real Toads. Margaret gave us a prompt from a song – Cruel. This is about going bad, getting good again, going back, and growing up. I hope this comes close.  http://withrealtoads.blogspot.com/ This is also for Poets United Poetry Pantry http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/ and for dVerse Poets Pub OLN http://dversepoets.com/2017/10/19/open-link-night-206/.

Close but no Cigar
He was right where I had left him 15 years earlier –
lying on a folding lounge chair in the back
under a huge oak on the shore of the lake,
of his beat up Chevy.
This lounger was red and yellow.
The previous lounger was blue and white.
There was a hole in sole of his beat up cowboy boots –
his broken in cowboy hat was pulled down over his eyes –
as I got closer, I could see his jeans and shirt were clean,
but patched and faded.
For 40 he still looked slim and trim and buff.
I wondered how his face had changed.
I walked up slowly and quietly crunching gravel under my boots.
I pulled myself up on the truck bed and he moved.
His hat shifted back and his eyes opened wide and surprised.
“Shit.” He said. “Never thought I’d see you again.”
He spoke in that soft Oklahoma twang he’d kept
after all these years.
I smiled ruefully. “He left”.
“So, that cat left you and now you feel like you
gave him the best years of your life? Hmmmmn.”
I could see lines around his yes and mouth.
He stood up and pulled me up to him
and kissed me, like he used to.
His mouth tasted of bourbon and pot.
“You know, leaving me was the smartest thing you ever did.
Say goodbye again. I’m still no good for you.
You’ll chew your leg off like a wolf in a trap.”
I shrugged.
“We’ve know each other a lotta years,
since high school.” I spoke.
He touched my face with his hand.
“Go away. Now. While you can.”
I just had to see him again,
To prove myself wrong.
They say all good things must end.
We were so good we never stood a chance.
so I went back to his apartment with him.
And then left after we made love.
Damn, I barely missed that bullet.

47 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sanaa Rizvi (@rizvi_sanaa)
    Oct 12, 2017 @ 19:14:11

    This is so poignant.. I can strongly relate to the feeling of “I just had to see him again, to prove myself wrong”.. sometimes we refuse to see the darker side of a person… and wish to see a positive change in them.. sigh.. Beautifully penned.

    Reply

  2. Frank J. Tassone
    Oct 12, 2017 @ 20:03:20

    riveting and real!

    Reply

  3. erbiage
    Oct 13, 2017 @ 05:11:51

    ouch. i’ve been tempted to check in on the old lovers. but why? what’s to gain? but then again, it was so good…

    Reply

  4. Caliban
    Oct 13, 2017 @ 08:35:28

    This is such an engaging narrative – i wanted the story to end happily.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 13, 2017 @ 09:18:43

      Thank you. But it did end happily. I walked away rather than ending up in something destructive. Guess I just needed one last time to say goodbye.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab®|PRO

      Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 13, 2017 @ 17:21:46

      It did end happily. I left him. No getting trapped in a bad relationship for me. Not that it was bad, it just wasn’t good for me.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10

      Reply

  5. Marian
    Oct 13, 2017 @ 11:00:18

    Reads like a cautionary tale for sure.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 13, 2017 @ 11:31:32

      Mos def glad I gathered my bravery around me on that one. Life would have been so very different at that point.

      Get Outlook for Android

      ________________________________

      Reply

  6. Namratha Varadharajan
    Oct 13, 2017 @ 15:06:15

    what a tale! seems like she is happy she got away..

    Reply

  7. jazzbumpa
    Oct 13, 2017 @ 21:12:54

    I saw how long this was and thought I might not read it all, but you kept my interest piqued. Good escape at the end. Wasn’t sure what was coming.

    Well done. Poignant for me. I did get reconnected with my HS sweetheart.

    We’ve been happily married for 26 years.

    namaste
    JzB

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 13, 2017 @ 21:24:34

      Thank you for reading. I usually write short Japanese poetry forms but every once in awhile, I take a long ride.

      Get Outlook for Android

      ________________________________

      Reply

  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Oct 14, 2017 @ 16:07:02

    Oh yes… I feel that you went as close to the abyss as was possible, but turned before the edge. Sometimes you just have to see the things through don’t you?

    Reply

  9. Susie Clevenger (@wingsobutterfly)
    Oct 15, 2017 @ 10:15:14

    I was so young when I got married, but I remember my first love. I’d like to know what he looks like now, but that’s about it. I love how you wrote this, a step back, but tactical enough to dodge a bullet. 🙂

    Reply

  10. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Oct 15, 2017 @ 12:04:59

    gritty and honest. Obviously she’s still wanted – and that had to be a sort of salve.

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Oct 15, 2017 @ 13:00:30

      Yepper I was still wanted but….I just had to see him one more time to convince myself. And I left him. No trap for me! I had gotten out of a wonderful relationship of 13 years but then, he left. Two years later I had business in my old home town and saw the first love of my life…lol….I just needed to let myself know.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10

      Reply

  11. paul scribbles
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 15:23:39

    So you managed to get twice bitten ( or were you doing the biting?) and still fly away….smarts 😉

    Reply

  12. suzykopliku
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 15:29:25

    I love the dialogue it adds gritty realism and poignancy. Great ending.

    Reply

  13. kim881
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 15:35:28

    Twice bitten! You know I love your autobiographical poems, Toni – keep them coming, please!

    Reply

  14. Beverly Crawford
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 15:44:57

    Oh my, you described precisely the “bad boy” I was always drawn to. He reminded me of Robert in the best-seller “Bridges of Madison County”. Oh (sigh) every woman needs to meet at least one bad boy!

    Reply

  15. whippetwisdom
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 15:56:22

    I love your use of dialogue in here and someone who says ‘“You know, leaving me was the smartest thing you ever did. Say goodbye again. I’m still no good for you’ is pretty decent on the inside.

    Reply

  16. annell4
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 16:41:43

    You tell a familiar tale. That one last time seems right. You did dodge a bullet, lucky girl. I think I knew that man. He drove himself right into the ground.

    Reply

  17. Bodhirose
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 19:38:13

    Somehow when I was reading this I heard the voice of Sam Elliott, the actor…love his voice! Well, I love your autobiographical poetry too, especially the ones about your love life. It seems to me that you lived a somewhat exotic life at times and I just love reading about your experiences. Obviously the attraction was still there for the two of you but I’m glad that your common sense had you dodging that bullet, Toni.

    Reply

  18. Victoria C. Slotto
    Oct 20, 2017 @ 21:01:58

    Phew! One powerful narrative with such explicit details that I felt like I was in the scene. You exploited our emotions so effectively.

    Reply

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