Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


by Elisabeth Smith Wood

I didn't want to want him
just because he never called me someone else's name.
I wanted to snub his squared off fingertips that
covered his winter face.
I needed those hands to feel lizard commanding and
that face should have been goombah stupid or
truculent or a little too feminine.
I needed to remember that no dignified human
would sit on his sofa no matter how the cushions were turned.

I wanted him to be damaged, diseased and resistant to
my music. He should've used pretentious words that
would make me itch to slap him.
He should've smelled of sweat and cynicism or
filthy laundry and
he needed to never reach for his wallet
or my hand.

I willed him to be a lamb, a wuss or just
some fat Buddhist with a limp ponytail and
Oh God, I really needed him to be a lousy lay so
I could move on, relieved that I'd escaped the
ridiculous mistake that he would certainly become.

I wanted him to be haggard and spent, jaded
and unforgiving. I set out to hate him or ignore him,
to run from his crumbling corpse but
I haven't gotten what I wanted at all.


  1. Oh, poor you, not stinky dumb arrogant or a bad lay...what else could go wrong :-)


  2. Wow, this is one powerful poem! Hard not to get what we want when the situation is SOOOO difficult and we know what we would like to get.

  3. is powerful...nicely written oh we want them to make it easy on us to walk away...and hard when they do not....

  4. Woah. This hit me like a brick. Nice!

    There's such a difference between what we want, what we need, and what we get. I used to think I'd never get it right.

  5. Wow! Wonderful in its negativity, the way it seems to report "aslant" a positive relationship when the speaker in this poem really wants to flee from any such possibility.

    Yeats said "a poem is an argument I have with myself." By that definition, you clearly have a poem!

    Enjoyed reading this -- another guilty pleasure! Thanks.