Patti Masterman

My Helpless Mien - Poem by Patti Masterman

My helpless mien folds up between your appearances
Like those beds in the 1950's economy apartments;
Or almost as if the switch had been turned off,
And the electronics went dead without warning.

I come online again only when you show up,
All my circuits lighting at once;
Information age here, I'm lined in
Looking around in surprise
That I was really here all along,
In a sort of underground wake;
Treading water, following the dim streak of sun.

Though at times I confused root from sky,
Breaking the surface, the noise loud and unaccustomed,
My eyes blinded amid the familiar resounding ring of creation,
Everything shouting it's name at once.
Because you always whisper, I have to bend low, like a bow;
Tune out the other cacophony

If I were a bird on your shoulder
I could learn all your lines and amuse myself,
In your absence.

Sometimes I am afraid I am merely talking to myself anyway,
While you recite a too-memorized litany, from somewhere far away;
Watch in resignation, as I hang myself from the same old nooses
Prepared for people, went missing from your life ages ago.

The long line of corpses will someday fold like lines of dominoes,
And I will become just the anchor stone; the last one,
That's holding the rest in place, just the way that you want them-
And how can I ever memorize my lines, if you never give any of them away?

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 11, 2010

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