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My Lips are Sealed

Today I licked a stamp
to send a thank-you to a friend,
spent ten bucks of gas
to show up where and when
a fancy invitation said I must,
bought a Mother’s Day greeting
for Tuesday’s early mail, and forgot
all day to wish you a Happy
(just-our-secret) Anniversary.
 
This evening, at the brink of sunset —
just like many years ago —
you took and kissed my hand,
a happy, happy man
expecting nothing in return.
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ABOUT THIS POEM
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Fact & Fiction —
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Most of the statements in this poem are autobiographically accurate : sending the thank-you, attending the event, buying the card, forgetting the anniversary. The events of the second stanza did not really take place precisely at the “brink of sunset” ; I use that phrase here for the reasons given below (in “Sound & Sense”). I also use three images of licking stamps or envelopes : thank-you note, invitation, Mother’s Day card.
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My husband has seen this poem. I have his consent to publish it here.
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Sound & Sense —
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The title “My Lips Are Sealed” does triple duty : to refer to my neglectful silence on our anniversary ; to refer to the “just-our-secret”occasion for the anniversary ; to refer to the lips of kissing.  At the special event I attended today, I heard a woman use the phrase “lips are sealed” which gave me the idea for this poem.  When I use the phrase “brink of sunset,” I imagine lips as a kind of brink.
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I paid attention to the sounds of these word combinations : friend, when ; bucks, must, Mother’s ; greeting, secret, evening ; Tuesday, you ; brinked, kissed ; hand, man.
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The notion of expecting nothing in return came from a TV program about the Dalai Lama which my husband and I watched this evening.
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About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

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