"But first, baby, as you climb and count the stairs (and they total the same), did you, sometime or somewhere, have a different idea?
Is this, baby, what you were born to feel, and do, and be?"

-Kenneth Fearing

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another April


Another April: Sestina

April arrived as if opening the wrong door. She, deciding

not to leave, made her way to the back of the room. Settling

into conversation, she ordered a drink or two, acting casual

as if her invitation was delayed in the mail, not forgotten

altogether. I didn’t mention it. It wasn’t my place.

I’ve never had any control over hour or days or months.

I haven’t thought of you for so long it seems like months.

I have not once questioned, (I claim) my decision.

because everything that begins, must return to the place

it started. Everything disturbed will eventually settle.

If there was a choice, I didn’t see it, or else I’ve forgotten

what it was. But, don’t think I did it casually.

Nothing that was between us could ever be casual,

not in all the years of us, the years, the weeks and months

of the life I wanted. (did I tell you that?) How can I forget

the mornings I’d find you fast asleep, and almost decide

not to wake you from the rest that finally settled

over you, as you tried to put the laundry in its place.

And I wonder, how a man is changed by places

in his life. Does he carry them all inside him, casually

moving from one into the other until the present settles

into his bones and keeps him there, as pages of months

fly off the calendar. Is there ever a real decision,

or do we only try our best and then count on forgetting

what we couldn’t fix. Christ, how I wish I could forget

even one little piece of who I’ve been, even one time, one place.

I’m tired of carrying all of this, every conversation, decision

introduction and goodbye, every step and misstep, each casual

gesture and ultimatory look. Yet I know that if you sleep a month

you’ll always feel the need to compensate, to settle

the account. When you can’t have what you want, you settle

for what there is. Jesus forgot to say “Blessed are the forgetful,

for they won’t feels as cheated as the rest.” This is the month

I’m stuck with, this is the day, the hour, the time and place

You know it as well as I do. We are all of us, only the casualties

of a million past collisions. But let’s pretend that we can decide

instead, whether to settle, to take (say they are) our own places.

Let’s say we had a dream we’ll soon forget. Smile and walk casually

as if life will wait however many months for this decision.

-Brent Allard


  1. You make the sestina look like a cake walk. This is stunning. Thank you for posting it.

  2. Thanks Lana! Once in a while I have to try one!

  3. This is so beautiful, Brent. I love this form. It's not easy but you do it so well.

  4. Thanks Sweepyjean! Glad you liked it.