Bad Economy Pantoum

Our neighbors lost their home.
Their windows say “Do not enter.”
I remember that blue sedan –
when I was six years old,

and the windows had those same signs –
they pulled in slow – waving.
When I was six years old,
I didn’t know my friend would die.

They pulled in – him waving –
we ran through their new home – fast friends.
I didn’t know Gary would drown.
But that was years ago.

We ran through everything – best friends –
even dating his sister…
…But that was years ago
before she came into her own.

While I dated Julie,
our parents winked at each other.
After she became a beauty,
they knew I had no chance.

Our parents planned for the future,
watching us kids mature.
Thankful to have the chance
to live the American Dream.

Marking us kids grow tall
on the jamb, now painted over.
Awake from the American Dream,
suddenly nostalgic.

What else was painted over?
I remember that blue sedan,
suddenly nostalgic.
Our neighbors lost their home.

June 24, 2009

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10 Responses to Bad Economy Pantoum

  1. cherokeebydesign says:

    Great write….but an ever saddening story across America.


  2. Wow, a pantoum! I had to look it up to remember the structure.

    This line is particularly moving to me:
    “What else was painted over?”

  3. OLEG says:

    Hey, Raven and Laurie, thanks for your comments.

    The pantoum is indeed an interesting form to write, but a pain to edit (since stanzas can’t very well be rearranged).

    Upon re-reading this poem, I dismiss it as more of an exercise rather than a really solid piece of poetry. Writing a pantoum was different from any other form I’ve written. I’m sure I’ll try again sometime.

  4. xxhawkeyexx says:

    I liked it, even though it’s a sad poem, the structure and the way you connected everything, it’s amazing!
    i’m also writing some “poems” (i’d like them to be), but i’ve just begun writing, so my work might not be as good as you or many other writers out there, but i hope you’d be able to visit my blog and check them out.

    • OLEG says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      Practice makes average, nothing makes perfect, but the more practice the better.

      I may be unique in this, but I say practice writing in verse forms in the beginning. Hone the craft with basic forms like sonnets or even just a plain ‘ole abab rhyme schemes with regular metrical units. Doing this sets a solid foundation for expanding into free verse, which in my opinion is so easy to do poorly.

  5. Okay then … what about a sestina? Now there’s a challenge. :-)

  6. OLEG says:

    Oh, Laurie! A sestina! That’s no pantoum.

    Just looked at the Wikipedia entry…I don’t even know what “quadratic hexameter” is – I know it’s something with 6 feet, but what? I’ll have to look it up. You’ve really saddled me with something here. Look out.

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