Thursday, April 21, 2005

Party Party

Sheila’s Party

She felt
As cold and tight
As if a spring of steel
Were wound around her throat
And through her guts

And beads of sweat stood attention,
At random and in rank,
And all her heart was open
To the heartbreak her misinformed love had bred.

She was young and noble and grave,
She was plain and lovely and tried so hard to be loved;
She was all she was till a lover at last
Came in like sun through a haze and in no time
Betrayed her, together with her blonde roommate.

Later she stood dead still at her party,
Storm-still in the eye of the swirl,
Needful once more of her lover,
Yet heedful of the things gone astray.

"Why?" cries her beautiful roommate.
"Why?" cry the revelers all.
"Why is this lady sad now?
For what do her eyes look away?"

She's danced her last dance with her lover,
And he’s resigned and turned away,
Gone out the door with the other,
Leaving Sheila cold and frayed.

The whirl of the party heightens without her
As the phone rings off from the wall,
But it’s busybody Smother Levine
And the rest of Sheila’s party is spent in boredom,
Talking placidly to her mother about nothing.

“Goodnight, Sheila!” someone she barely knew
Yelled from the door. “We’re expected at another party!”
Christ, what can we do who choose friends and lovers
That won't love us at all?

5th draft: 4/20/05
©1980 Ronald C. Southern

The above poem is based on the 1975 movie, "Sheila Levine is Dead And Living In New York City".

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)