Promises*

autumn-burdocksm

Autumn Burdock – photo by Wild Thing

A promise given
Received
With joy
Gently placed
In a basket
To be savored
Until its arrival
With expectation
Hopeful days
Pass
It never comes

Another promise
Arrives
In the basket
It goes
Believing again
Only to see
It curls up
Like the other

Soon the basket
Fills with
Withered promises
It’s put away
With the pain
Of being forgotten

More promises
Arrive
Like butterflies
Beautiful
Then flutter away

Leaving behind
Wistful
Knowledge
That it will
Never happen
Which is
Better than
Expectation
Unfulfilled

Wild Thing ©February 18, 2017

*This poem was written for the Prompt 2.17 for the Writing Rebels.
It must suck to have promises made that are never kept. I mean we all know what it’s like, but to be an entire race of people? I think of Standing rock … being Black … Hispanic … all the broken promises made to them & then I am ashamed to bemoan any that have been broken to me. Anyway, I tried to capture that feeling & don’t think I came very close to it … but for what it’s worth. This was my attempt.

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11 thoughts on “Promises*

  1. Shelly … this is absolutely lovely … deep heartfelt emotion … and so true … not sure I can ever believe in promises anymore … promises require trust and I can no longer trust

    • So take that and add to it being of another color … and you’ve been promised so many things by so many people … not just those you’ve gotten close to … can you imagine the rage, frustration, emotional emptiness? I tried so hard to tap into that to write this poem … I know how it is to have a promise broken to me … OFTEN! and how it felt when it happened … especially when it’s from one you loved and trusted …. then tried to magnify that … don’t know if I accomplished what I set out to do or not … 😉

    • Thank you Monique! I truly appreciate your kind words … as I have just said earlier …. I really tried to capture the feeling of being let down not only by friends & family, but even in a broader sense of community & government … so your comment is sooooo appreciated.

  2. Vows are promises, too. Half of all marriages end in divorce, but that doesn’t mean the others had the promise kept. They stay together for other reasons…sometimes incomprehensibly. And still we make promises. Can’t imagine why.

    • True … but in this one, I tried to reach beyond my experiences with broken promises and add the color of skin to it. To be black, brown, yellow, and to not only have family, friends, etc, but also community & government break promises to my race/gender/sexual orientation etc… what rage/frustration/lost hope I would feel then? I don’t know if I achieved that or if I only projected my personal experience ….

      • Of course. The Voting Rights Act and most of the treaties with native American tribes were broken promises, and all the shootings of unarmed blacks by cops are a monumental betrayal. Race isn’t supposed to matter, but whites act like the chosen people, whatever the Hell that’s supposed to mean. There’s a quote by Lyndon Johnson that pertains to that: “If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.” That’s what one party has relied upon to hold onto the southern states since the mid-60’s. Broken promises all the way. They made life in the south so intolerable for blacks that millions migrated to northern slums, just to get away from the distinct possibility they would die at the hands of racist whites. It’s all very discouraging.

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