NaPoReMo – June 4

Ashes

This one’s the one about the narrator spilling a woman’s ashes.

This, I think is my favourite part:

……………………………………………Who wants
to track a woman’s ashes on the floor
of a rented hall, then get home
………………………………………………slightly drunk,
pull off his dress shoes and find a residue
of the dust
…………………….trapped in the polished leather creases,
especially if it’s dust
………………………………you know by name
and flirted with

I find a lot of the rest a little rambling. It’s a striking moment to write a poem about, but I’m not as taken by the whole as I expected I would be. Hudgins appears to lose that first electric shock and the hum doesn’t follow through all the way to the end of the wire. In my opinion, anyway.

Here’s the ending, see if you agree. The narrator helped clean up the spill with a damp paper towel which he took home and kept on his dresser for eight months before throwing it away.

the magic
………………….leached away, the awe
………………………………………………………….withdrew,
and I disposed of it, her dust, as we do
almost all
…………………the dead — even those
…………………………………………………….we loved,
loved utterly —
……………………….because they are sheer dust
and should be honored as the dust they are.

On second thought, maybe the poem’s a tour de force — the magic has leached away even from the poem itself, and the moment’s electric charge is lost. I’m not at all convinced about this, but it’s just possible that the poem fades to a close the same way the narrator’s grief fades away in the end.

Nah.

Go read the poem for yourselves, see what you think.

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