Will Thomas


How Much Is Mine? - Poem by Will Thomas

5: 30 a.m., March 17,1982

It is
(I am sure,
and more than willing to admit)
the melancholy in me,
that, and the early hour,
the rest of my house asleep,
that, and the day itself,
with the Richard Wagner Chorale
singing 'Danny Boy' on the radio-

It is, surely, these things
that keep me sitting here,
in the uncertain glow
of two 50-watt bulbs,
a few minutes longer than I should,
sitting here when there is a tie to be tied,
a brief case to be filled and zipped,
and the bottom of my thermos to be wiped dry
before I am out the door.

Did you have my laugh?
Did the first fires of autumn
tiptoe across your soul?
Was your hair as curly
as mine has turned out to be?

Were there children later on
that you kept?
And did you sing to them
as I have sung to mine?

Have you ever seen the ocean?

And your voice-
did it dance?
Your face-
was it round or long,
full or fine?

(How much is mine?
How much is mine?)

I am almost 35 now,
and you, if you are at all,
are well into your fifties.

But,
this morning,
in the orange-brown light
of the carpet and the fifty-watt bulbs,
it is the younger you
of whom I ask these questions:

the you who worried
and waited for the time of the month,
began to count the days,
and tried those whispered remedies

-to no end-

It is that woman-child
who keeps me here on this couch,
that, and the day,
and the music,
and the melancholy,

and the simple wondering
if ever
there was a morning like this for you.


Comments about How Much Is Mine? by Will Thomas

  • (2/26/2006 2:31:00 PM)


    The yearning, the realism, the need - love this. I'll be back for more. (Report) Reply

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  • (2/24/2006 6:39:00 AM)


    This one really sucked me in, leaving me feeling drained as though I had just experienced the memory instead of just reading about it. Very moving and well written.10.
    Hugs
    Anna xxx
    PS thanks for your comments on Spellcheck - I appreciate it.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/11/2005 6:45:00 AM)


    This strikes me as a memory of a memory, as if the narrator thought of this once, and something triggered a reminder of that memory.

    I have to ask: Is there really a Richard Wagner Chorale and would they have sung something as awful as 'Danny Boy' (Coming from an Irish background you will appreciate my antipathy towards that particular song) .
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Poem Edited: Tuesday, July 18, 2006


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