Self Portrait One Year From Now

Self Portrait One Year From Now
by sandra beasley
Snake farming will turn out easier than I thought,
Florida cheaper, and my tangled lakefront will have
one lone sentry, a flamingo
white, unmotivated, preferring fish
to courtship. And I will wear hats. Straw ones.
I will not recall the Viking bounty,
the cotton incarcerations of the Salvation Army,
the girl, the mewling girl,
and how you shed us all like a tired skin when you left.
There will be two moons:
mine, ever and gladed
and yours, cold and above,
watched from a quiet bed,
kept awake — as you always are —
by bites from small, dedicated mouths.

0 thoughts on “Self Portrait One Year From Now

  1. There seems to be a strong backstory behind this poem, one that keeps me coming back and looking deeper into its inferences. The middle stanza is the most puzzling, but gets clearer as the lines develop into a small portrait of infidelity and abandonment. Or at least I presume. So, it seems to be looking to an idealic (for the speaker) near future of recovery from the abandonment. There’s a little bit of extended word associations, with the snakes and the everglades, that I like, and the ambiguities keep drawing me back in. This is a poem that grows on me. I didn’t care for it so much at first, but I keep coming back.

  2. I too read the poem as a ‘coming to grips’ with the abandonment of a loved one. The ‘Self Portrait One Year From Now’ is what the writer/subject will need to be or grow into to survive the heartbreak and to move on. I don’t know if the ‘mewling girl’ represents an infidelity–perhaps likely. ‘Viking bounty’ sorta leaves me with an impression of rape, pillage, and plunder, partying wildly, living it up, for some Valhalla that might take you in after you die from surrosis of the liver. ‘Cotton incarcerations of the Salvation Army’ leaves me with a feeling of poor bottom-feeding day-to-day paycheck-to-paycheck gutwrenching fight for existence that gives you a sour taste in the mouth with no realistic hopes for the future. ‘shed us all like a tired skin’ seems to be a reference to snakes going back to ‘snakefarming’ as does the ending ‘by bites from small, dedicated mouths.’ Maybe i’m reading too much into it. But it’s fun letting my mouse wander in the maze that is this poem.

  3. oh, now i’ve got the fever. last two lines behoove but that’s fine by me. this really is a well done poem. quasi, now that you mention all these crannies &nooks the lighting of this is warm, vitamin-pee yellow and non-lamp.
    this reminds me of my mother, her relentlessness to move (on) and the modifications intended to be made about twenty years ago. no, this actually reminds me of several women i’ve known. but especially mom.

  4. my running away fantasy…i always say (to the effect of, duh):
    i’m going to runaway to the middle of no where, maybe kansas. i’ll change my name to betty, gain two hundred pounds, get a humble waiting job and wear darkened-lensed cat eye glasses just to see if i’ll like that solidarity provided via abandoning everything else.

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