Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Don't Care

Last night I accidentally hit 'publish' as I was beginning this post in edit mode. This morning I had several most loving emails checking in to be sure I was alright. I am.

This is a personal poem and it is after all a sad poem, But it's also one of my favorites and I think one of my best. I wrote it about three years ago, at the time of a very complicated relationship. I was reminded about this and that after reading "The History of Love," a novel gifted to me by a very dear friend. I was reminded that love in all its forms settles itself in the heart and the memories are pretty dodged about remaining, even when the circumstances warrant otherwise, even when denial and self protection take over.

This old poem is currently folded into the novel I am currently writing:

Casey opens her Waterman pen:

I Don’t Care

I don’t care if the distance spans the decades
And the patterns never form,
If I never understand the photos
Where we look straight into the camera
your arm hanging over my shoulder,
cradling my cracked smile,
The one I tried so hard
To keep it together
Even when the fragments flew.

I don’t care if the bluebirds turn around and
Head back to what was never home,
That place we began but never finished,
That corner where we tried to intersect
But instead fell apart
in just that broken moment
When I told you I would endure
And you told me that was worthless.

I don’t care that I am baking pies today,
My senses somersaulting from the memory
Of my mother’s hands,
Moving back and forth
Kneading back and forth,
Following a rhythm I never learned—
A rhythm I think about at midnight
When my dreams will not keep still.

I would watch her dice and slice
Those moments so skillfully
I did not know my childhood was over
Until the day I left home,
Until the day you left.
Until this day,
When all I can do
Is roll out the dough
And try to rise along with it,
Even when I know so well
I will clearly fall again.

I don’t care that I cannot maintain
Hope that cannot be sifted
In any form but by its splendid grief.
If I thought it was enough
To carry those ten wands to town,
Just to hold them and push forward,
I would do that.
I would open your garden gate
And ring your bell
And wait in place
Until the door opened
And there you were,
Scowling at my folly
To dare to come at all.

I would try to tell you
That somewhere so deep
I have never found my way,
That I believe there is a rising rhythm
That makes things right.
I would offer you my wands
And then I would put my arms
Behind my back, barely moving,
Clenching with a driving hope
That you would know that
I don’t care
Really means
I never learned
Not to.


  1. Powerful.

    I saw the heading on my blog feed but couldn't get to the post itself, but I think I might have known/understood.

    I love the lines " I did not know my childhood was over....". Strong amazing lines.

  2. I think the last two or three lines wrap it up very well, and how true for many of us...thanks KJ

  3. Thanks, Mim, for this and everything xo

    Chris, yup. I agree xo

  4. its a beautiful poem, i especially like the ending. i think not learning to not care is, in most every case, a good thing.

    to add the reply feature, go to settings, then comments, and choose to embed, its the last one i think!

  5. I have posted an unfinished post by accident a few times myself so that I knew when I clicked on yours what had happened.

    a lovely poem involving so many images, your Mom, the dough, the "growing up" so to speak, the knowing that loving care is the greatest emotion we can have.

    Glad this will be in your novel.

  6. Very strong words, kj, love the last lines. I could see your mother working the pie dough...

    I tried to comment on this yesterday, but I thought Google had screwed up and that your post would show up sometime! I'm glad it did. xx

  7. Kj, Beautiful and yes, one of your best. xoxo

  8. Can't wait for the new novel to come out, I have your fist one proudly standing on my shelf. How are you feeling today?

  9. Beautiful! Love those last lines. Hope you are feelings better

  10. This is how it is with love and lovers. They wrap around our live and become parts of memories they never were a part of when it started. Love has made me recall my mother a thousand times. Only my memory isn't of pie. It is of her hands on a guitar and she is in the grass strumming. I am making daisy chains and thinking she is beautiful. When I fell in love a few years ago, my mother's memory came to me all the time.