peach pit

I am not a mystery.
I will lay out my history for you to peruse,
should you ask me to.
Ask me anything.
I will tell of promises given and broken,
losses and gains,
those deserved, those earned,
and those otherwise.
I’ll even show you my scars,
and tell you,
if you’re interested,
where each came from.
And you will say
oh, how terrible, you must have been so sad
or “oh, how happy that must have made you
because that is how you would have felt.

And then you will think you know me,
because you assume,
(don’t you?)
that I felt that way.

And I might incline my head or smile a little,
letting you believe
that now you know me.

Written for the dVerse Open Link Night.  I really enjoyed reading Lisa’s prompt, about the things we see and the things we miss, and the idea that we share the deepest parts of ourselves in poems. It reminded me of a line that really struck me in a book I read recently, “Out Stealing Horses” by Per Pettersen:

“People like it when you tell them things… they think they know you, but they do not, they know about you, for what they are let in on are facts, not feelings…

I find this idea fascinating – that you can appear to be open, without actually becoming vulnerable, because the open-ness is illusory. And also the insight that we all just assume other people feel as we would, when in fact this is not true. And we have these ideas of how we ought to feel that can be as damaging as the ideas about how we ought to look.

I find the contrast between the wariness described by Pettersen, and the idea that we share the deepest part of ourselves in our poems really interesting.  It made me think about why I have this blog, which started as a place to (metaphorically) run naked down the corridor.


Filed under musings, poem

28 responses to “peach pit

  1. Makes you think about how much you “really” know a person!

  2. ask little
    one day
    some way

  3. A great poem. Sums up the way that we make assumptions about people👍

  4. I love this, Kate: I agree, someone can think they know you, but how much does anyone really understand what is going on in another person’s head?

  5. Love this poem, Kate. There’s some kind of inherent kindness in it somehow. That’s what I love about it. I just relate ❤

  6. DEEP and real talk here, both in the poem and your afterword. What you’re getting at is what I loved about the poem in the prompt post. There is that place within us that nobody will ever be able to know — maybe even ourselves. I remember a conversation I had with the professor I had for “play therapy” about how tightly our Irish family kept its secrets, and by extension emotions, thoughts, etc. She said, “your ancestor’s very survival depended on not revealing anything to their oppressors.” It made so many things clear, yet at the same time it made me wonder about the usefulness of it in modern times. After a lot of thought, I believe it remains a double-edged sword. Telling what’s real makes one vulnerable to dark forces who would exploit, subjugate, destroy, etc. Yet at the same time, it is what is most flawed and makes us most vulnerable that makes us most human. Sorry with the long comment and probably way more real than I wanted to get, but thank you for bringing it out of me.

    • Thank you Lisa. I agree that it’s a double edged sword. It’s taken to extremes by my mother, who never tells anyone when things go wrong. For example, I found out recently from my sister-in-law that my father is in hospital in Melbourne, and has been for weeks. My mother’s inability to tell people things is becoming dangerous for her because she’s very frail and not coping. And it’s making me very aware of my own tendency not to tell people when something bad happens, which I guess I learnt from her. But I really like the idea that there is a “safe” middle way – saying what happened, but not how you feel about it.
      I appreciate the long comment. ❤

      • Oh no, Kate, I want to ask what’s going on with your dad where he’s in hospital for weeks. Your mom, trying to handle it alone. I think those lessons that are ingrained in us early (don’t talk) are difficult to overcome. I really like your idea of a safe middle way. Hoping your dad gets well soon and back home with your mom ❤ You're welcome and thank you ❤

  7. So many scars with so much to tell remain invisible. No one’s an open book, even when we think they are, eh?
    Nice work, Kate.

  8. writingwhatnots

    Thought-provoking write Kate. Interesting point about the ways we think we ‘ought’ to feel.

  9. A fascinating write, Kate. I will have to check out that prompt. I missed it. I like the title too – peach pit – hidden away in the juicy flesh, ridged and hard. Sort of a secret.

  10. Well written Xan! We are truly and exclusively, our own story. 👍🏼

  11. Very true, Kate! And very well written!

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