How We Get Here


Several years before my birth
my mother said I do
to a man she would never love
as much as the one who came and went
before him—
a man who worked for her father
chopping meat in the family grocery store—
taller than my dad, with dark curly hair
and an age that carried too many numbers
to be an acceptable match.
And he would never have her parent’s blessing
because his ears didn’t work like everyone else’s
which caused his voice to be thick and slow
which caused whispers and sideways glances.
But they ran away together, overnight,
when she was only 17
and when she told me this, I was 30,
which is how old he was then– that young man
who loved her not enough to absorb
the temporary wrath of her family
for what they’d done—
that young man who wouldn’t listen
to his heart, or hers.
He was fired, of course, then moved away.
So here I am—
the result of a failure of nerve—
the result of a lost love, and then a half love.
And this is how most of us get here.



DeMaris Gaunt

Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

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