William F Dougherty

Rookie - 7 Points (West Hartford, CT)

A Promise to Keep (Update.)


Words are for those with promises to keep. — W.H. Auden

I promised her the garden's glory:
marigold's monarchal blooms,
ageratum's lavender fuzz, the
grainy beards of coxcombs' plumes;
sturdy zinnias, salvia's flames,
snapdragons, and tiger lilies: raw
cuttings from home to grace a stone
in final, promissory awe.

Crystal-needled frost struck and drained
the promised flowers brown; left them
in rows of shriveled heads to nod
on gallows of each blackened stem.
I bought chrysanthemums and filled
her navy vase with bronze and gold
clusters to decorate the grave—
my quaking hand let slip its hold.

The vase discharged against a stone
and shattered, as if the cobalt night
had cracked again: the fragments gemmed
my gold bouquet with bluish light.
The flowers lost—love left unsaid—
planted in my repentant sleep
the seeds to start a garden of words
where love and promises will keep.


(Re-worded published in 'The Lyric.' Fall,2012.
Earlier versions appeared in 'Owl Light, and
'Poems: New & Used.')

Who's Who in Poetry 2012 (page 1)

Submitted: Friday, January 21, 2011
Edited: Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Promise to Keep (Update.) by William F Dougherty )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie - 7 Points William F Dougherty (7/13/2012 12:33:00 PM)

    The epigraph from Auden takes on predictive meaning.
    His poem said that words should be with-held from flowers
    and birds because-quote. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 7 Points William F Dougherty (5/28/2012 1:29:00 PM)

    Shahzia:

    Yes. Signal poem about mother's sudden death. Did replant garden. Discovered she had saved my college
    poems, therefore- (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 245 Points Shahzia Batool (5/28/2012 1:09:00 PM)

    interesting poem with a gradual movement...1st stanza is rich in promises n tall claims....beautiful anti-climactic ending....with a heightened effect... (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 7,636 Points Ramesh Rai (4/1/2012 9:55:00 PM)

    the seeds to start a garden of words
    where love and promises, keep.
    I like the poem and its flow. (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. I Dry My Tears, Poetic Lilly Emery
  2. Valley of an autumn's night, Raluca Mitra
  3. The stars that touch a rose is the star.., Raymond Sawyer
  4. *Halloween Stroll, Alice Vedral Rivera
  5. चाँद रात में सैर, Rajnish Manga
  6. Oil In White Robe, Okoemu Barnabas
  7. I Could Have Loved You, Sandra Feldman
  8. I Don't Feel Like A Poet Today, Buxton Shippy
  9. A weirdo, Amgad Samy
  10. an act, Billie Lynn Minear

Poem of the Day

poet Geoffrey Chaucer

Compleyne ne koude, ne might myn herte never,
My peynes halve, ne what torment I have,
Though that I sholde in your presence ben ever,
Myn hertes lady, as wisly he me save
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. Unity is Strength, S.D. TIWARI
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Wait, Galway Kinnell

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]