That Godforsaken Day - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
She was, for many moons,
the velvet cover of the portals
inside my heart, there was,
majestically, the grand aorta,
the mitral valve and then its
lowly cousin, though essential,
the oft forgotten tricuspid.
Leaves just the pulmonary,
and there my new suspicion
has its focus, the foramen ovale,
a short lived yet so vital hole
allowing frank communication
until the day when you or I,
godsent or accident of Nature,
arrive, to stay until we die.
Did you, you lovely devil, really
inhabit any chambers, or was it
a dream, a wish that ought to be
reality in anyone's existence?
There were those promises,
though given hastily, with blind
and deaf and urgent fervency,
acceptance, no longer simply
and haphazardly just hoped for,
it was a truth, a law of Nature,
commandeered by Gods
for you and I, who were, oh yes,
the innocent, the chosen, it was
July, in all geographies, even yours
and mine, and weather bothered,
as it always does, so many people,
the woes of life in civilised restraint
kept many occupied and from the purpose
which may have hung about nearby.
It had no meaning to us, nothing mattered
unduly, for you and me, pre-ordained
must surely feel like this, handcuffs
and shackles, made of Manuka honey,
and topped with whipped vanilla cream.
So many, we could not keep up count
sweet nothings, such warm whispers,
and touch through cyberspace that burned,
and tickled the flesh, anew each day.
And words, ach, where did they live
these strung together soothers, whereof
were utterings composed and why had they,
in times of comfort in convention, hidden
themselves and their ulterior meanings
away from us, only to re-appear and rule.
No doubt, there was a trance, hallucinations
notwithstanding, it was 'to wit', my dear,
until the day a battle of significance was lost,
not here on earth but in the endless skies,
between the Gods of Cardiology and Love
and something indescribable, intangible,
which sent the signal down to strip and rip
with cruel claws the velvet from our linings,
and roughen up the great aorta, the tricuspid,
blow out the foramen ovale, once again and,
all in all create an intermittent turbulence once more..
And thus it came to pass, on that forsaken day
that one heart broke, although still held together by
old twine of bland tradition, double-stitched,
and double-breasted like a suit in mothballs.
And so it functions, waking early mornings,
producing postventricular contractions readily,
as if in protest to the evils of this world.
It is not known what fate has struck the other,
one cannot hear sweet words or feel a single thought
when one brave soul has closed her eyes and fallen silent .
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