A Variation Upon Phibby Venable’s “Raggedy Ann on Edge”

 

Life its ownself is powerful fond of the long goodbye,

The process of moving from indispensable to incidental

An incremental trip of infinitesimal steps,

But the upshot is goodbye all the same,

And once upon a time everywhere was a warm and intimate place,

A universe of mobiles and appliqué on the walls,

Somewhere where you were all the comfort and confidante ever needed,

But the world went and got bigger and though you thought you’d stayed the same,

Fidelity being your stock in trade, you’d become a lesser thing,

Privy to the grim notion that affection can be genuine and expendable all at once,

And now you are outbound, your grip uncertain and a touch damp

As you gingerly finger a coach-car ticket to an uncertain destination,

And you suppose all things are possible now,

But that is all part and parcel of the cold realm of the probable,

And you rest the ticket in your lap, just to the left of the heart

That is hand-stitched on your rustic gingham

(The patch a bit faded and Hershey-stained now,

And one or two of the stitches are not as tight as they should be)

Which you suppose still beats, but only faintly enough

To tap out some foolish nonsense along the lines of Someday, somewhere.

(This piece’s predecessor can be found right here, but be warned–once you start reading Phibby, you don’t stop.)

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8 thoughts on “A Variation Upon Phibby Venable’s “Raggedy Ann on Edge”

  1. ooooh love this runaway sentence. 🙂 such a sense of bewildered loss and resignation, all at once. i loved your first line and every line thereafter. great one!

    1. The poem/sentence is definitely a bit of a runaway train; Phibby tends to punctuate her stuff that way, although I’ve a fondness/weakness for it myself.

  2. a great honor from an amazing poet/writer. Thank you for your kind words. This poem is wonderful.
    As you gingerly finger a coach-car ticket to an uncertain destination,

    And you suppose all things are possible now,

    But that is all part and parcel of the cold realm of the probable,

    And you rest the ticket in your lap, just to the left of the heart

    My favorite lines, W.k.

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