Monday Poetry with Gypsy Woman, Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: His Place in the Sun

Monday Poetry with Gypsy Woman, Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: His Place in the Sun
Yareah Magazine
Monday Poetry with Gypsy Woman, Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: His Place in the Sun

Monday Poetry with Gypsy Woman, Jenean C. Gilstrap. Today: His Place in the Sun

dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift and their magnificent performances “A Place in the Sun”, a 1951 film based loosely upon the 1925 novel “An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser.

his place in the sun…

isolated in poverty

surrounded by religious fanaticism

bound by the social caste of the times

there had never been a place for him in life

not on the side of the tracks where he lived

and never a place on that other side of the tracks

iron tracks that divided his blood line

just as they divided the town

just as surely as a chain saw

would divide a dead limb from its trunk

even school held no place for him

so he dropped out of it and into the streets

into a world where survival came only

to the fittest of the fit

where newspaper routes and floor mops

were all that separated him

from the darkest of the dark on that side

of the tracks that never saw sunlight

where he muddled through

one sweep of the mop and

one throw of a newspaper at a time

then one dreary day that was

like any other dreary day

it happened

out of the blue

that thing he had never dared to think of

to dream of

the call came from the other side of the tracks

the call from the uncle who lived

on that other side of the tracks

in the big house

the big house where sunlight

filtered through organza covered windows

where dinner was served promptly at eight

where bowls of gardenias adorned polished

walnut tables draped in white linen

and heirloom crystal glistened like stars

on a hot summer night

where the sound of women’s laughter

lit the room long after sunset

where life was good and filled with promise

and so it was that he found himself

slowly succumbing to this bright new world

to the warmth and light of family and friends

but before he could make his way

out of the dark dingy room where

clandestine lust had once held him captive

where something was better than nothing

and anybody was better than no one

where he tried to fill the dark void

that was his life

before he could extricate himself

from the chains of those secret sins

chains that bound him to another

with unintentional links of DNA

before he could end

what never should have begun

there came upon him a ray of sunshine

just as dazzling as the diamond necklace

gracing her porcelain skin

just as brilliant as the glint

in her eyes when first they met

and in that moment

that moment under the spell of their love

his fate was sealed

sealed just as surely as the casket

of his former lover and her unborn child

a casket sealed with the sordid secrets and sins

of his heart when the boat overturned

in the dark waters of no return that fateful night

her death sealing his fate back into the darkness

of hell from whence he had already come

a casket sealed with secrets

and sealed it would stay

sealed through his trial and through the verdict

the verdict which also cast him back

into the shadows on the cusp of life

this time the shadows of death

as the clock clicked away his life

in those last days

just as before

out of the blue came another ray of sunshine

her last visit to him

the last time their eyes would caress each other

the last time her lips would speak

those words that were already too late

the last time that her smile would light his life

and as he walked that last walk down

the cold corridor shadows round him lifted

lifted just like a fog on a spring day

leaving a misty glow on all it touched

he knew then that he had found it at last

had found the one thing that had

eluded him all of his life

the thing that only she brought him

a place where he belonged

a place in the sun

his place

in the sun…

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