The Most I Could Do

Since Peter Frankis over at dVerse Poets is asking us to “play with sound”, I’m offering up The Most I Could Do (previously published  online at Able Muse in 2000). Able Muse published a recorded version, but I couldn’t get the audio to work there, and I’m not going to re-record it here. Maybe you’ll have better luck. Otherwise, I guess you’ll just have to read it aloud.

I hope you’re not too disappointed.


The Most I Could Do
          — for J Lopes

I watched: her breasts grow large
her nipples swell her belly
barge-like ferocious with child
comes knocking
like the moon at a midnight door
while angry he at home puked
and swore

Grudgingly she grew. He
distracted, drunken, sunk
beyond his own oblivion,
I don’t remember what / if he said:
the phone or he was nearly dead
or dead

And what could be said, then?
What could one say? The day is
ended? The night is coming on?
What to do?
I offered her a cup of tea;
the most I could do: far more
than he.

dVerse Poets pub
Meeting The Bar
~ Let Your Words Ring Out ~


12 thoughts on “The Most I Could Do

  1. (Poor old realplayer is really dead isn’t it?). So reading this aloud was a pleasure – ‘belly barge-like’ ‘dead, dead & ‘said’. Such a clever sad piece full of fine sounds in support of the story. I hope you still like this piece after all this time. I’m very pleased to have read it for the first time today. Thank you.

  2. There is an enchanted feeling to this line, like Providence.
    “comes knocking
    like the moon at a midnight door”
    Some men are heels. Others are princes.
    This child was meant to be raised by a prince.
    (I may not have understood the poem, but my comment is based upon my understanding of it.
    Good conveyment of a messy situation.

  3. A powerful poem, Ron, especially the simile ‘Comes knocking / Like the moon at a midnight door’ and the way it’s juxtaposed with ‘angry he at home puked / and swore’. I also like the use of alliteration in ‘Grudgingly she grew’ and ‘Distracted, drunken, sunk’. The final lines are brilliant!
    My daughter will be doing squats to raise money for Refuge, a charity that offers a safe haven to abused women and their children, throughout November.

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