Portrait of Perhaps (NaPoWriMo 2017-Day 10)


“…our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is a portrait of someone important to you. It doesn’t need to focus so much on what a person looks (or looked) like, as what they are or were. If you need inspiration, here’s one of my favorite portrait poems.”


Beneath those searing blue eyes

Which melt me, I see your scoffing smile—

You think me audacious, call the idea

Repetitive, redundant—that I should

Paint yet another word-portrait of

Artist loved only by his loyal wife, and

Faraway woman who ne’er navigated

Consistently calm waters in anything

Close to a seaworthy vessel.

Perhaps you seek to hide that you’re flattered,

Honored—reckoning my talent equal

To your acrylic canvases, woodblock prints.

Or maybe you’re annoyed, merely an off mood…

I’m too old be be frightened by your irritability;

Walked too many miles on sharp lava-rock road,

Peopled by characters you’d not have spared glance.

Bitter?  I’ve simply grown tough tortoise shell.

It amuses me to watch grown men quake

At the frown on my short frumpy-figured face.

I’ve been characterized as one who

Doesn’t take s–t from anybody—and

Where do you suppose I learned that?

Ah, I see your gaze sparkles Aegean—

Yes, you’re the man quoted as saying:

“I don’t kiss ass for anyone.”

You taught me well, Love—and never realized.


The first 25 years I defended you fiercely,

Took humiliation’s lonely licks.

Then one day I snapped, called you an ‘ogre’,

Agreed everyone else had been right about you.

Time passed…and damn you, you died—

Left me nothing but deafening silent pain;

Alice fallen down well, mutely drowning.

Later the real, delayed grief came sudden,

Cutting through me like daggers of ice,

Tears raining pewter for weeks.

I rallied in the only way I know—

Imagination’s a potent drug, more

Effective than electroshock therapy.


Today I look fondly—heart in full swell—

At your pensive picture…tender memories

Returned and embellished, embroidered

In rich filigree…pulsing with spring’s new life,

Revitalizing ordinary.

Words pour…in every shade and hue,

Of always forget-me-not blue.

I fill lines which may weary readers,

And care not one scintilla.

Nights, your shadow drifts ’round

The room, finally rests beside me—dreamworld

Sifting stardust, embraced protectively.

© R L Cadillac, 2017 ~ All rights reserved.

Image ~ Pixabay

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10 thoughts on “Portrait of Perhaps (NaPoWriMo 2017-Day 10)

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