What Trudy Knows
What Trudy Knows

I find myself mourning
but not for anyone we have buried
and not for the old neighbourhood
or my lost youth
or any of that crap.
To make no bones about it
I am mourning myself.

Trudy doesn’t get it at all.
When she lays her head on my chest
and her yellow hair lies loose
all over my stomach,
I still turn over her way
and I do my homework.
But she knows it isn’t the same–
Even as I enter her body she knows
I am going through the motions.

It’s easier at work.
I can laugh at my buddies’ jokes
and tell a few of my own
when we break for coffee
and no one’s the wiser.
The boss as always can see
I clock in on time.

But I know and Trudy knows
that the man who took up space in this world
under my name
has slipped out the door without so much
as a by-your-leave.

How she sticks it I don’t know
but we have our meals as usual
and we visit her folks as usual
and we go to the movies or go bowling
and we fight about money we don’t have
for the new baby
and it’s only the odd time I catch her
looking at me when she doesn’t see I see her
and I know she knows.

– –

“What Trudy Knows” is an example of a kind of narrative poetry I began writing back in the 80’s.  In these poems, all of the characters, including the narrators, are fictitious.

Knute Skinner

KNUTE SKINNER lives in Killaspuglonane, County Clare, his home for the past fifty-five years. His poetry has appeared widely in Ireland, Britain, Australia and North America. He is the author of sixteen books of verse including a collected edition, Fifty Years: Poems 1957-2007, which appeared from Salmon. A memoir, Help Me to a Getaway, was published by Salmon in 2010.

Ouevre

The Cow

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There’s a white cow standing upon the hill, surely the whitest cow I shall ever see. As usual with cows she is eating grass. Nothing strange about that, except that...
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On Being Ninety

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The clown is quieter now, but somewhere in the back of my closet is a large red nose. I try to keep on the move, but at times I find...
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The Window Seat

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I found Edna stretched out there, absorbing the sun. “You look just like a cat,” I announced and put down my armload of books. “Do you also purr?” “I purr...
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Anthology

Thought and its Futility

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Thought and its futility Are seen Desire and its pointlessness Are seen Fear and its subsidence Are seen The unwavering flame of attention Engulfs all that is Mind is still,...
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You are an Era

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You are an era And I am a tourist, reading A history book about you. I went through the several phases — Old school rock, 60’s jazz and retro The...
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Ink

Poetry by Simran

Speak, sing, write, act Till your voice can no more And your face can’t twitch a muscle And your hand cramps and becomes sore With blisters and splotches of ink...
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