History Drops By

It’s not like her to knock, of course.
She tiptoes in half-apologetically
(Though the notion of being unwelcome has never crossed her mind)
Regardless of the hour, being likely to show up
At any when and where she chooses,
Not being subject to any nine-to-five workaday concerns or constraints.
She declines the offer of a drink, demurely shaking her head
(In her world view, a solitary and unchaperoned lady
Does not drink in the presence of a gentleman)
Though her company leads me to move from beer to whisky
With some alacrity, for the evening’s entertainment
Is comprised of, as it invariably is, home movies
Featuring my inability to live up to my potential,
My compromises, accommodations, and outright abdication
Of principle and conviction.
The scenes, familiar if not particularly welcome, play out one more time,
Accompanied by the gentle whirr of an aging Super -8
Or the gentle ka-thunk of a carousel projector
(Her taste in my malfeasance is charmingly retro)
And as the montage proceeds with a weary ruthlessness,
I attempt to explain my role with well-polished used-car-salesman-issue obfuscation
Or a plaintive, childlike tirade concerning the indifference of gods and men
And any and all entities in between.
She is unmoved, silently taking it all, the corners of her mouth a bit askew,
Sitting in the interval between bemusement and scorn.
Eventually, I slump into my chair, fully chastened
(No, more than that—something deeper, more final,
Something even beyond defeat) and at some point I grunt
How it would be nice if we could just one time
See what the fuck was on cable instead.

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4 thoughts on “History Drops By

  1. she sounds like a nuisance. i’m of the thinking that mountains and sturdy cement walls are often times necessary and peace and love and what not is just another theory.
    but who cares what i think! this writing gushes like water down a spring mountain melt and then comes to an unexpected freeze in the last line. i learned a few new words too.

      1. those ff’ers are usually a ball of façade and/or the dupe loves to suffer. I should write a psych 101 book and sell it on street corners.

  2. Well, as usual, I am not sure what this poem means. Is there a literal unchaperoned woman who stopped by to see you? One whose presence demands a stiff drink? or is the she a cat or symbol or a machine? Of course, I have missed the point of this poem but whatever the point, the last sentence made me laugh out loud. That surely says something.

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