To the Woman Who was my Rival

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Now you look to me like a pure
rushing fountain
Adorned only by your own
sweet splashes

In your gentle mood
You claim you do not hate me
You, whom I have suspected of
     collusion in the crimes
     against my childhood;
     thefts by the owners of the
     sunshine (guarded always
     against the storm by
     the warmest sweaters)

I, so bewildered by the storm,
     standing on the ground becoming
     mud, making a friend of the
     cold wind and kisses of the wet
Unable, as they say, to come in
out of the rain.

When you smiled your smile of
     festivals and good news
I felt bereft
And when you frowned
I felt that we were equalized
But when I saw your hurt
I wanted to turn down the
Volume of your pain

And after all this

who are you?

and are you still my enemy?

I am told by reliable sources
that you are kind

Neither of us have the woman we both clung to
But she will never know the
     strength that saw you through

Now I am finally sorry
     that my winter spread to you
     that my heart's needs made you bleed

And I am glad you are putting out new buds

Now you look to me like a pure
rushing fountain
Adorned only by your own
sweet splashes.



Author's Notes/Comments: 

this poem was written to a woman I had been competitive with over the affections of another woman---after much time had passed and I was able to see her for the beautiful soul she was in her own right.

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palewingedpoetess's picture

Remarkably outstanding poem.........

amazing the hindsight you acquired upon that woman's death some would never reach that and be able to say such a thing in simple words about that woman let alone write such a glorious poetic tribute to that very self discovery of the fact. In a manner of speaking that could read as a belated eulogy to her...........sincerely, Melissa Lundeen.

wemni's picture

postpoems belated thanks

Hi Melissa, I had my settings wrong so it seems postpoems didn't notify me when people commented. I am so sorry. Thank you for your kind comments! Sincerely, Jan

saiom's picture

A poet I showed this to said 'breathtaking'


itsmesowhatofit's picture

Excellent imagery, a total picture of the love you have for this person, she would be proud!

wemni's picture

postpoems belated thanks

Hi, I had my settings wrong so I think I was not notified of comments on my poems. Is it possible that your comment is from 2006? I guess it must be so. This is probably the most belated apology you may ever receive. (your baby must be a big girl, or boy? by now).

Thank you so much for our kind review.

kittymonkey's picture

Beautiful and serves as an artifice of forgiveness.

Laura Maguire's picture

That is absolutely fantastic! Really flows well. I love it, well done. Laura x

wemni's picture

your comment from 2008

For some reason your comment was not sent to me. I just saw it today. Thank you for your encouraging response. Jan

Victoria Danson's picture

I really like this piece. At first I found the style of it unique, and then the second read through the words really hit me. Thank you for sharing this one, I now think I have a glimpse from the other side of things. Isn't life odd in the way sometimes, we just suddenly understand things.

wemni's picture

postpoems belated thanks

Lisabeth, thank you so much for your lovely comment and for your understanding of the poem! This thank you is very belated. I'm really sorry.

Elizabeth Burgess Drivas's picture

May every one's story reach this conclusion, and may every revolving door cease--

Dolores Nowak-Akey's picture

I read this thinking it was two sisters competing for the affections of a mother, so when I read your comment, I saw you were in a different context. I believe it is good when a poem can be read from more than one perspective.

wemni's picture

postpoems belated thanks

Hi Dolores, I recognize your name. I am not sure if I ever responded to this comment, or if I remember your name from another poem, that hopefully I did respond to. It seems my settings were wrong and I was not being notified as I expected to be, by postpoems, when someone commented. But I am confused, because I think I remember your comment about thinking it was sisters. I can see why you might have thought that, if you had sibling rivalry. Well, let me thank you for your comment, belatedly.

saiom's picture

This poet's art is as powerful as her words.. her portrait of Looking Horse has been one of several she offered to a showing of her work


saiom's picture

One of the most beautiful lines ever chiseled from pain is your Now you look to me like a pure rushing fountain Adorned only by your own sweet splashes