Look Here Again and Again

By: Barbara Ann Meier

inspired by Pamela Alexander

Next time you cycle by my place in your tight bike shorts and shirt

out lining your bulge like a bratwurst in a bun

caressing your half and half belly from your milky coffee.

Next time you jog across my cold heart with your Brooks running shoes

your calves pulsating like Ninja blade

stinking up my kitchen with your gaslighting words.

Next time you paddle your Sotar catamaran

down the wild and scenic Rogue

don’t expect me to portage your precious

around the Fishladder or bounce it free from the sucking water

surrounding the boulder across from Half Moon Lodge.

I won’t be sleeping in your tent or sleeping bag

I won’t be riding at the front of the Sotar greeting each rapid first

or sitting terrified behind you on a bicycle built by you for us.

There will be no more lying by the side of the road commando camping for me.

I won’t say hello if I ever see you again.

I’ll hobble by in my burgundy walker,

ignoring the shadows of your six other wives.

Barbara Ann Meier is a writer living in Lincoln, KS. She has been published in The Poeming Pigeon, Pure Slush, Metonym, Young Ravens Literary Review, and The Bangor Literary Journal. She has three chapbooks published: “Wildfire LAL 6”, from Ghost City Press, “Getting Through Gold Beach”, from Writing Knights Press, and “Sylvan Grove”, from The Poetry Box. She loves all things ancient. She works in a second grade classroom and in her free time she likes to drive the dirt roads around Lincoln.

Reflective Engagement:

As we immerse ourselves in the vivid imagery and raw emotions of this piece, we are invited to delve into our own experiences of growth, resilience, and self-discovery. Consider these self-reflection questions as you connect the poem's themes with your personal journey:

  1. Reflection on Personal Growth and Boundaries: How have your past relationships influenced your understanding of personal boundaries, and in what ways have you grown to recognize and honor your own needs and space?
  2. Exploration of Emotional Resilience: In moments of profound emotional challenge, akin to "ignoring the shadows" of a significant other's past, how have you found strength within yourself to embrace solitude or the decision to move forward alone?
  3. Contemplation on Nature and Healing: Considering the poem's use of nature and physical activities as metaphors for life's journey, how do you relate your own healing process or personal evolution to elements of the natural world or physical endeavors you've undertaken?
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