Where were you?

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Where were you when the night caught fire,

and the stars shredded silver filings on the blazing wind?

Why did my hand catch at empty air

and loose feathers, museum-dull,

instead of the comet’s tail?

I think I saw you sauntering by the river,

whistling low a tune we used to share,

your hands full of moonbeams

to offer to someone else.

Where did it go, the cool, green love,

Slip-sliding through sun-slanting beams of summer?

Did it follow the last of the geese fleeing the ice floes

Or sink, a trunk of treasure trove, beneath cold waves?

Beyond the lament, the final hissing sparks,

of falling fireworks,

I thought I heard a blackbird sing,

Or perhaps it was the fading strings

of a romantic film,

the flickering screen I cannot see

through this veil of tears.

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

22 thoughts on “Where were you?”

  1. The bird references caught me, the analogy of beauty and wildness and flying away from you. I especially loved the image of grasping for your love and catching only empty air and loose feathers.

  2. Where was I when the night caught fire?
    Alone as always I am alone,
    Waiting for a wave of compassion or science,
    Of fiction or poetry, Of well baked pies,
    Where was I when the night caught fire?
    Trembling on the floor, angry and hurt,
    Disbelieving that yet again you left me
    Without looking back. So I stood on the porch,
    Watching the blaze from dead stars as their
    Ashes reigned down and buried those
    Without umbrellas to protect them.
    I waited that night for someone to notice,
    For parent, child, friend, but the silence burned
    Through any preconception I had of friendship.
    Where was I when the night caught fire?
    Writing oceans of water to extinguish the flames.

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