Poetry Thursday: The core of tenderness

bare tree in winter casting shadow on snow

An old acting teacher
used to say,
“The root of the thing
is never the thing itself.”

Easy enough to understand
on its surface
with its hints
about what lies beneath,
undulating
or roiling
or pulsing
or cringing,
depending on gender
and other matters
of context.

Harder to remember
in the moment
when the roiling
is on the surface
covering up
the weeping
or vice
versa.

Sometimes I think
pain is just
a sticky note for feelings,
“Remember this
along with the milk
and the life plans
and all that other pokey
you fell into believing
is the Thing Itself.
And don’t forget it next time,
asshole.”

We could remember love
just as readily
just not
as easily.

I promise you this:
from the moment
I woke up
on that hospital bed
I have moved toward the love
and only the love
because in the end,
there is nothing else
worth moving for.

A heart may break
in places you cannot see
behind screens devised
for a thousand types
of modesty

But what pours out
is always love
no matter how hard
the heart may seem.

xxx
c

Image by kelsey_lovefusionphoto via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

9 comments

  1. I promise you this:
    from the moment
    I woke up
    on that hospital bed
    I have moved toward the love
    and only the love
    because in the end,
    there is nothing else
    worth moving for.

    Thank you, Colleen. That’s captures it, exquisitely!

  2. “The core of tenderness.”

    Reminds me
    of W. Somerset Maugham’s
    comment in his novel
    “The Razor’s Edge”
    when he speaks to
    Isabel a beautiful
    smart,
    talented,
    wealthy,
    lovely,
    connected,
    and admired
    woman
    …that
    the one quality
    she lacked
    was
    “tenderness.”

    Maugham
    gave
    that
    word
    a whole
    new
    meaning
    for me.

    And so
    have
    you.

  3. Thank you, dear poetry (and love) lovers.

    Debbe – True story: I so loved The Razor’s Edge that I re-read it once yearly, every year, throughout my late teens & 20s, and titled my honors thesis “The Razor’s Edge” in its honor. Was watching the Tyrone Power/Gene Tierney version again the other day. It’s okay, but man, that book deserves a really good film version (and no, the Bill Murray one isn’t it).

  4. why am i not surprised that you loved “the razor’s edge”?
    and i sooooo agree about the still unfilled need to for a
    really good film version…maybe it could be called
    “the core of tenderness” adapted by colleen wainwright.
    that too would not surprise me.

  5. Colleen, you make me long for the book of your poems. Thank you for sharing your Thursday gifts. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

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