There Are Better Things I Could Have Used This Memory Space For #DVersePoets #PoeticsNight


It’s burnt into my memory

that open mouthed gape

swallowing my words,

and the back turned

mid-sentence on an answer

to a question you had asked

only for the slow spin,

arm triangled over your head

as you scratched your scalp,

and those frown scrunched nostrils

somehow still flared

in a state of confusion

when I refused to speak

to a man not facing me.



Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay




  1. That’s an excellent title, Carol, and I like the stream of consciousness of the poem, the frustration at the drawn-out-ness of the reaction, ‘the slow spin,
    arm triangled’ and the ‘nostrils somehow still flared in a state of confusion’. You’ve captured the reaction so well.


    1. It wasn’t his non-reaction so much as having someone utterly disregard me after asking me a question. He seemed genuinely confused as to why I’d stopped talking after he started walking away.


  2. This is so good (and relatable). I loved the title and how you pictured those fine details — triangled arm, scratching the scalp, flared nostrils, et al. put us in the scene.


    1. I’ve not heard the second one? Wearing sunglasses indoors yes, but not in general. I get horrible headaches from bright sunlight so I try and avoid taking mine off if I’m wearing them. Worried I’ve insulted someone now.


      1. It’s something I hate. It seems only polite to take them off when you’re speaking to someone so they can see your face. If you have a medical reason for not doing it that’s different, but most people don’t.


  3. Most of us work a lifetime perfecting our listening and communicative skills. Some get better at it than others. This fellow needed an intervention for sure.


  4. Ah, the utter displays of stupidity that the human species demonstrates. More often, from the Y-chromosome-carrying variety of said species. You evoke your vitriolic frustration over the described ineptitude well!


  5. I can feel your exasperation in these words – being ignored, not taken seriously – he can just keep walking.


  6. Not fun to speak to someone’s back. My wife did I do it I think too often. Interesting write Carol. Thank you for sharing.


  7. Yikes. It’s amazing how a small unkindness can last well beyond its shelf life- you’ve captured the injustice and meanness of random acts of unkindness very well. Reminds me to double my attention and stay as conscious as possible.


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