The exhausted past
by Marge Piercy
Writers have lives that are well fingered,
photos bleary with touching, faces fading,
old letters from the time people actually
wrote them, tearing along the folds,
yellowing, ink sunk into the paper.
We have used up our traumas till they
bled out and now are just anemic
ghosts hard to distinguish from wallpaper.
Our old loves are hollow with mining.
Our parentsí deeds and misdeeds
are distant now as the War of 1812.
Cannibals of self, we should die
emptied of all but a little rancid
self pity and the rustle of unpaid
bills. The poems and stories
we never got to write will haunt
our death beds, the real mourners
who will honestly miss us as they
too fade to nothingness as mind
sinks into the cold gelid brain.
Copyright © 2010 by Marge Piercy.