Sestina: Blues Clues

Sestina: Blue’s Clues

What the past three years have been I don’t remember,
only that the now is taken up with Steve and a dog, Blue,
a sort of surrogate mother for our children, who look for clues
while Mommy, like me, is busy doing something. Think
though we might, we won’t recall that something later.
But Steve is kind, assuring them they can be anything
that they want to be.

We can be any thing that we want to be.
This may be true of children. I remember
Science before English and Music put anything
else I was thinking of aside. Choosing a blue
shirt, rather than a red one, I put it on and think
that self-referential forms sometimes give us clues.

It is in the repetition of words, clues
to something we may be
seeing deep in our soul, cues we think
we can remember:
something that makes us blue,
something that resolves to anything.

They seem to write themselves, but sestinas are anything
but a poetic Oujia board. Sometimes in the clues
to what we were going to say next, the distance from the blue
flame of our thought and the sputtering candle of verse can be
measured in miles. Try to remember:
this isn’t a poem about a dog and her boy. Think.

This is actually a poem about my children, and I think
I haven’t written anything
that tells you  – I remember
how badly we wanted to be
parents, how blue

Diane was, childless, how Blue
and Steve sometime makes me think
that I ought to be
down on the floor with them, anything
to help them look for clues,
doing the work to remember.

I will not let Blue raise my children for anything.
I will think — there are clues
to be found. I will remember.

2001, revised slightly before posting.

4 thoughts on “Sestina: Blues Clues

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  1. I have to confess to writing sestina’s and I totally “get” what you the point about the poetic Ouija board. You just don’t know where this form is going to take you, how it will tease out your subconscious thoughts. Love it.

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