A Prose Poem


THE BOOKMARK
 
For the last year she had been scrabbling around in the book of her life trying to find her place. It wasn’t until the day after the first anniversary of his death that she realized she has lost her bookmark. As bookmarks go he was one of a kind, soft Venetian leather, hand tooled with an artisan’s skill, engraved with gold leaf that sparkled in the bright light of day and the softer glow of evening. He nestled in the pages of her life. Sometimes in her impatience, she would want to skip pages, or read them quickly without full comprehension, but when she picked the bookmark up to mark her new place she would feel a resistance, a gentle yet firm insistence that she go back and reread. Impetuous, in a hurry to understand everything, she would ask multiple questions without realizing that answers could be a long time coming, and that for some questions there would be no answers. When a chapter was sad, so sad that it was painful to read, she would clasp the gently aged, subtly weathered bookmark, and feel a warmth and strength penetrate her hands, rise up her arms, then descend into her aching centre. As the years passed she placed the bookmark between pages he was not comfortable with, pages full of passion and deep inner truths, she would read aloud as the bookmark rested on her lap. Over time she noticed the leather developed a delicate density, and she came to know that each brought their own dimension to a vibrant, well written story.
 
Tricia 7/2010
 

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on January 14, 2012, in Poems and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Beautifully crafted and elegantly presented.Loved this, Tricia 🙂

  2. I like this, Tricia. The idea of a bookmark gives much greater depth to the idea sometimes expressed as someone ‘being my rock’.

    [Proofreading hat on]
    I think that should be ‘brought’ in the last line.
    [Proofreading hat off]

  3. What a beautiful, moving tribute.

    I shall never be able to place a bookmark in a book again without some feeling of this poem creeping through.

    David

  4. How the weight of memory can add such bitter-sweet significance to everyday objects. This was wonderfully expressed.

  5. What a great metaphor! May we all find bookmarks who are as wise as your bookmark is. May we all live the memories found in the book of our lives. A great prose poem.

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