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Premature Delivery in Astor Hall (Laboring between Patience and Fortitude)

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Below is the poem entitled Premature Delivery in Astor Hall (Laboring between Patience and Fortitude) which was written by poet Cara Alvaro. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Premature Delivery in Astor Hall (Laboring between Patience and Fortitude)

In my head, I’m in the library, at
a podium, before a microphone, looking
out into the faces of a yearning sea
of people, knowing they expect 
a little kindness but mostly, a lot of
answers from me.  Beyond them,
on the far wall, there are words carved
in the marble framed by columns 
that reach desperately toward the 
Beaux Arts detailing on the ceiling.
I clear my throat and hushed 
conversation evaporates into thin air
as if this great hall was
a veritable black hole  
of a misapplied lexis.
Like a woman being asked to 
re-birth a child, I stand there 
wondering how to present 
that which made its way 
into the world, of its own
accord, some years before.  
They want me to pick
the words up off the page and 
deliver them to their ears, their
minds, their very souls. 
They want my poem to grow
then inside them as if they
were surrogate
parents, mothers, fathers,
capable of ensuring it would
become what it was 
meant to be.
But, I, mute, am standing there 
thinking
they are not me – 
and this,
my words, my poem,
they may see… 
but cannot have.


I open my mouth, to open the poem,
(against my own better judgment)
and feel a rush of words 
surge up and into my throat-
not the being they think they know,
not the child they’ve come to meet, 
but a bastard infant, not yet fully formed,
begging to be birthed in reverse,
through my mouth from the very
soles of my feet.
Suddenly, I want to tell them
to stop and smell the stars
to gaze endlessly at roses
to live, passionately, fervently
but never ever vicariously,
to bleed themselves out into the world
and to suck life into their souls as if 
their entire existence depended on it.
I want to implore them
to open their damn eyes
and to listen
and to believe
and to dream
and to BE
and to stop 
just stop
expecting poets
to give them answers
and painters to landscape
their visions.
I want to tell them they’re 
not even half what they 
might be, could be, should be 
oh, and CAN be – 
but mostly, 
I want to make them
understand that I couldn’t possibly 
have their answers if only because
they are not me
and I am.

I stand there, silently, now awkwardly,
looking out at them and 
wondering
who the hell they are… 

and a moment later, 
when they begin to squirm,
and whisper,
and look uncomfortable
and maybe, 
even,
start wondering
the same damn thing 
themselves

I begin
to read.  

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  1. Date: 4/13/2010 3:25:00 PM
    Different write..Welcome to soup... Sara

  1. Date: 4/12/2010 5:07:00 PM
    LOL...yes it is a quandry...everything that can be known has been known and is known one sees what they will hears what they will and the beat goes on.......

  1. Date: 4/10/2010 1:47:00 PM
    wow. cool. I wish you had told them that. That would have been awesome. Thank you very much for your comments on my works. I really appreciate that. I really like what you did here. I was right on the podium with you. Thinking the same thing.... Tony

  1. Date: 4/10/2010 2:57:00 AM
    glad i can enjoy this write so early in the morning, good write