She Knew

By on Dec 27, 2020 in Poetry

Collage of scenes from a life

Although well-versed in leafy academe,
she knew they helped her not at all,
those skills — to parse, to rhyme a scheme,
to sketch a plot, to hear the dying fall
of scribbled footsteps echoing
in the growing gloom. Though
of an age meetly deemed maturing,
she knew that mice-like lines which grow
along the very bottom of a page
signified, at last, quite next to naught;
that, frail or strong, old age
should rightly rage through the lengthening night,
should strive to flame and flare
and cut the darkness clean to filaments of light.
Though learned in the very rare
and rarefied imaginings of mortals caught
in immortality, those who crack the code
of endless dreams, she heard the sighs
too often sighed for her, felt the slow cascade
of promises, or else eventuated lies,
the cadence of the funereal dream — and she knew
that all those soundings echoed just for her.
She knew, that is, the stuff of dreams from times ago,
feelings finished with a period, an endless inward stir,
the pulse of time both lived and lost, the girl
gone to the final comma, to that endless whirl…


A former teacher and advertising manager, Dan Pettee currently operates his own freelance writing business in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He's had poems published in a wide range of publications, including Chicago Review, Texas Review, Pinyon, Descant, Puerto del Sol, and Evansville Review.