the heart it takes//

“it’s difficult”, she says
“i couldn’t do it–

they so loved my father,
always ran towards him
when he showed up– he was there,
but not for me,

i know they needed him”

the room is crowded,
my favorite cheese cake
on the table,

“it’s not easy,
they lie to you, and steal
because they have to, hide
under the city’s sewage system,
where the power cables run &–”

“that’s so dangerous”
says my daughter

turning off the heater,
i count people in the living room,
coming, going,
pink cheeks, bantering

“i’ll go there for christmas–”

cRacK, the shutters break– wide open,

tea lights flicker in the holder on the wall,
& frost’s pale lips press soft against the pane,

night drops on us, much more
than someone
could explain,

& it’ll soon start snowing


Fred has us write first person poetry at dVerse today.. you can slip in someone’s role or write from your own point of view, building your narrative through that character or person’s perspective whilst still combined with your own personal choices to enhance transformation into that character. Fred will explain that very detailed when he opens the pub doors at 3pm EST.. mine is a capture of a conversation i had with a friend at a birthday party lately about the work her father was doing with street kids..see you at 3pm then…and wishing you all a wonderful saturday..


51 responses to “the heart it takes//

  1. Odd, how important life-changing matters are interspersed with the common…and sometimes get lost until memory jogs… This is so real and familiar!

  2. Such interesting tensions, Claudia.. ‘but not for me’ jumps out (like the crack later)… beneath the surface pleasures and difficulties (like the sewers themselves) there’s often painful things lurking.

    Almost a throwaway line.. but it lingers. Great visuals at the end.. swirling the mood.

  3. ha the shutter break made me sit up….smiles…very col…i feel like i am swimming in and out of the conversation a bit, it blending…i really like night dropping in on us there toward the end…cool piece claudia

  4. Agree with Dave. A poem that touches a great deal even though distilled, and your contrasts, your own daughter with the speaker and the story, the the cheese cake, lights–very well done. K.

  5. Nice Claudia. You depict a realistic scene where all sorts of topics come up. It sounds like you were well engaged in the conversation while keeping your eye on really important matters like the cheese c. Have a happy Saturday.

  6. Frost’s pale lips press soft against the pane. I like the way you weave in and out of the conversation, interspersing it with snippets of the room. and what is going on around you. Sad to think the father was there for everyone but, not his own.
    Great write.

  7. He was there, but not for me
    Night drops on us much more than . . .

    I will read this again and again, about the listener, and how she listens. Thank you.

  8. There amid the bits of scene and dialogue, tension pulses. The words make me more aware of it by the way they pretend it’s not there.

  9. This is great, and when the shutters break, nature breaks in with a quiet fury, “frost’s pale lips press soft against the pane…explain” great lines to finish with the falling of snow.

  10. …and i do like the conversations… the voices that spoke here…so intriguing and i’m curious of what/s exactly happened/happening… very affecting so i find this effective… well done.


  11. Claudia — I needed to read your afterward to understand the poem.
    My first impression was that this was a funeral parlor — speaking of the deceased while the kids played around.

    I liked your word: “cRacK” — those typing emphasis when put in only occasionally, really make some magic work.

  12. The story of the selfless man has that quick twist in his daughter’s statement that he wasn’t there for her, and your daughter’s recognition of kids being in dangerous places, and your ending where night drops on us much more than we can explain- it’s a story with so many layers of our human condition yet so personal. I loved it.

  13. “they so loved my father,
    always ran towards him
    when he showed up– he was there,
    but not for me”

    This stanza stood out for me – it’s the most common failing of people whose role in life is to be there for others. Too often their families pay too heavy a price in the absence of someone who should be there for them.

    The picture of the kids hiding in the sewers is powerful too – so sad that this is the reality that some people have to survive in.

  14. Claudia, I so loved these lines “tea lights flicker in the holder on the wall,
    & frost’s pale lips press soft against the pane” What an incredible image–and what a great story–took me right in, and then left me smiling 🙂

  15. the heart it takes//
    Hi! Claudia…
    Once again, you have so captured the emotion between your friend and her father through your poetic words:

    they so loved my father,
    always ran towards him
    when he showed up– he was there,
    but not for me…”

    …and the work that he did/do helping children Of the street…Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee 🙂