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C Curtis
July 17th, 2010, 08:39 AM
It was summer
and we were
trying on
each others skins.

You were too small for me,
the tight fit was embarrassing,
so you felt justified
to keep me inside
or cover me up.

I was too large for you;
my creases and folds were
in many ways too much.
You fabricated things to hide
but could never fill my pockets.
Small watches and trinkets
you found in them frustrated you so;
constant reminders
I could not be emptied.

It was a long, hot summer.
I guess I wore you out.
You refused mending.
We agreed to swap our skins again
when gold leaves began to fall-
knowing wed need more than
each other
to keep out the cold.

Rediscovering my old skin
was like being a newborn,
but you looked uncomfortable
as you pulled yours on.

I had made hasty alterations
and fashioned a bag
from the small of your back
I'd needed more space
for my hands.

You were furious.
tugged hard at my
intermediate stitches
until they were all undone.

I accepted this as fate.
Picked up my pieces
returned them to my folds, my warm places,
and with resigned predestined steps,
walked home.

SilverMoon
July 17th, 2010, 10:31 AM
Curtis, I read your poem as a metaphor for intimacy. I'll quote a couple of phrases I particulary enjoyed and your beginning is a real grabber! Well, here I go with some:

How I read this is that she wanted to "complete" him as so many in relationships want to do but it is always futile.

You fabricated things to hide
but could never fill my pockets.
Small watches and trinkets
you found in them frustrated you so;
constant reminders
I could not be emptied.
Delightfully unique!

Rediscovering my old skin
was like being a newborn

A very thought provoking poem. Truly excellent! Laurie

Gumby
July 17th, 2010, 02:24 PM
I enjoyed the metaphor a lot. Having been there a time or two in my life and not always in a romantic fashion. Sometimes we just can't fit with other people, it seems. Good job! :)

wacker
July 18th, 2010, 12:35 AM
Hello C.

I really liked the way you wrote this poem. In the beginning you mind is thinking only about a trophy, but, as you get deeper into the poem it has more emotional meaning than that of pride for "the trophy". It also stirs up emotions within all of us.... getting us to take a deeper look at our lives and see if we can get the same emotional response you seem to have been able to capture with your poem.

Again an excellent piece of writing

wacker

C Curtis
July 20th, 2010, 11:16 AM
Thank you all for your positive responses to this poem. It's one that I'm really pleased with and glad it's finally come to be as it is.
Silver, cheers for all of your encouragement and continuing to read what I write and post. Intimacy is indeed what I'm trying to capture here, and how it changes over time, feelings changing etc etc.
Gumby, you're right, sometimes no matter how hard you try you just can't fit with people- even if you'd really like to. I think the resolution to be strong and true to your own identity rather than be willing to leap into an 'uncomfortable skin' for the sake of a relationship is really hard for people to do. I'm glad you can see where I'm coming from.
wacker, thank you very much for your kind critique. The poem is titled 'Trophy' because that's the name of the song I was listening to as I wrote it (Trophy by a band called Bat for Lashes). I often write while listening to music and when I do I name the poem after the song. Having said that, I did unconsciously on first draft work in the idea of a partner being more of a trophy than an equal partner; how does that make each of the people in the relationship feel? I guess that's my central question in the poem. I'm pleased you liked it.

Cheers,
C

Chesters Daughter
July 23rd, 2010, 08:05 PM
Working with an extended metaphor is never easy, but you carried it with skill throughout, nice job. Especially loved the image inspired by the penultimate stanza. You've an interesting way of titling your pieces which in this instance paid handsomely, trophy is quite befitting. I have no doubt that many consider the ability to wear the skin of another as being awarded a trophy. The pessimist in me couldn't help but envision a nasty person who doesn't return skins intact admiring a trophy case full of tiny bits and pieces of others. I truly enjoyed this, C. Well done.