Friday, April 20, 2018

Poems I Admire #50

Sometimes You Do Something Before It Happens

I know when I open my mouth I will start
the conversation that will end everything 
we knew before.

We have held our breath to prevent this.

I know this is where it will happen: Our 
botanic gardens; that the sound of my words, 
the hard, irreversible, until now unspoken 
truth, will dwell here for you among the lavender 
and english thyme and lamb’s ears (so 
soft) and rosemary, which you 
always remember is for remembrance.

Broken, like the silence, we will walk away 
from the warm light, the dotted Spring sky, 
the reticulated ivy, the knot garden, suddenly
untied, and you will begin, and I will 
begin, to create our separate stories 
of the break up, our hollowed-out chests not 
showing the concave shell blown out between us.

You will walk away, believing 
that we have a later we can meet in. I will try 
to love you at arms’ length, then, and remember 
with this emptiness, how you filled me, almost

enough. But maybe this is not the time, the time

that’s coming. Maybe in this moment, as you bury 
your round and generous face in the full pink peony (a beautiful
cabbage of a flower), as you risk inhaling a dozen courting ants,
seeking its sweet, sweet abundance, I think maybe 
I will say nothing, nothing sharper 
than those vivid petals, that spherical bloom. I nose

into a flower myself; it so supple, even the edges feel smooth, 
so stiff, it seems to bear my weight, bend rightly, 
and bounce back, holding again its perfect shape.

First appeared in Eclectica Magazine

Kathryn T. S. Bass’ poetry has appeared in dozens of journals and three collections.

Among other honors, Kathryn has earned a Ph.D. In Creative Writing from the University of Denver, a State of Colorado Artists’ Fellowship, and residencies with both Brush Creek Ranch and The Jentel Foundation for the Arts.

Kathryn's books, Within/Without: A Conversation in Poetry and Painting, Bright Seeds (a Finishing Line Press New Women's Voices Series selection) and The Mysteries are available through her woefully neglected website,

On her less poetic days, Kathryn is a marketer and program designer in the financial services industry, a jewelry designer, tomato gardener, wife, and devoted dog parent in beautiful Colorado.


  1. Thanks, Dan, for the lovely recognition and venue!

    1. Thank you, Kathryn, for letting me share your poem!

  2. Such a fine poem. Thanks Kathryn and Dan.

  3. I love this poem. I know this feeling. How in that moment before everything changes, we are so aware of the choice, and still so committed to what will happen there is no choice anymore. A beautiful tribute to telling the truth.