(167) My First Villanelle

My first villanelle! This past school year I taught the famous Dylan Thomas villanelle  “Do Not Go Gentle” to my students, because a line from the poem was significant in the book we were reading.  When I went over the structure I thought to myself, hmmm, I really need to try this.

Then yesterday it just happened. Inspired by Jewel’s lyric, “When the wind blew, she knew he was listening,” I began to write, not really knowing where it was going.  But I couldn’t deny what it was about — the epiphany I had one morning driving to work, when I knew I had to divorce my first husband.  The poem wouldn’t let it be about anything else.  So, here it is.

Gray March Morning, Prospect Road, 1982

It was when the wind blew

She listened in a whole new way

That was when she knew

There was a shift in point of view

The seams of life began to fray

And split apart, when the wind blew

Stark hidden reality came into view

She was an actor in a play

In that moment is when she knew

Everything that was untrue

Immediately she could no longer obey

On that gray morning when the wind blew

Her existence she would renew

A transformation was underway

A grace note when she knew

The past she had to break through

She gave herself the right of way

It was when the wind blew

That was when she knew


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