Prose Poem: Lover or Not

Since I’ve been ill, starting with COVID in mid-March, I’ve had difficulty writing and editing. Of all the stuff I’ve attempted, this one feels the closest to being something, yet I’m not entirely sure I’ve managed to capture everything I hoped.

I’ve even been having a hard time listening to audio books and the like, though I’ve managed to get through a couple of books while knitting or hiding under a pile of cold packs in an attempt to get my migraines under control. I may try to review one for the second post of July.

If you’ll allow me a little aside and some shameless self promotion, I’m also thrilled to share that I was nominated for a WEGO Health Award for Best in Show: Blog (for The Zebra Pit) and Best in Show: Facebook (for my TZP Health and Wellness Social Learning Group). The WEGO Health Awards are all about celebrating patient advocates who dedicate their time to helping others with chronic illness. At The Zebra Pit, we’re all about supporting patients and helping them to achieve their best life with chronic illness. I am so proud to be nominated and recognized by the chronic illness community for my work. Endorsements are an important step in making my way to the finals. I would love to get your support and it only takes a minute to accomplish. Just go to my WEGO Health Awards profile and click endorse! Thank you in advance for your support.

Returning our thoughts back to the poem, I would love to get some specific feedback on this one. Don’t hold back. Let me know what you think in the comments! I’m especially not married to the title. I’m also curious whether I get my point across and it’s clear what’s happening to the characters. All interpretations are welcome! As always, thanks so much for providing your input! It’s invaluable to my work.

Lover or Not

The moment that I met you, I grew obsessed with your form, and your quiet countenance seemed a harbor from the storm. Body long and thin, arms lithe as a willow, I sheltered beneath your branches, your trunk became my pillow. You knew my feelings were stronger than yours. You took no advantage, offered me a platonic sort of love. I hid away from life beneath your gently swaying branches. But life knows no bounds and soon someone else came along. You knew he could cause me great injury, this stranger who lied with body and tongue. Not knowing what else to do, you attempted to seduce him and bring to light his sexual ruse. You had the tool to win, or so you thought. Tables turned, my love for you did rot. All to prove what I’d already known. Men cannot be trusted, lover or not.

by Michelle Beltano Curtis

All rights reserved. “Lover or Not” may not be reprinted without permission of the author.

11 thoughts on “Prose Poem: Lover or Not

  1. How’d you drop the ball? If you did, I don’t remember! You shouldn’t tell on yourself 😉 It really is. Especially when you’re a love starved young girl desperate for attention. Xx


  2. Do all the ‘shameless self promotion’ you can, Mykie. 😉 The more that vote for you the merrier! We need you to win!!

    I think you’ve done well getting a post out at all with how you’ve been feeling and what you’ve had going on, let alone tapping into the creativity to pen this poem, which I think is very well done. Those last lines are cutting with the rhyming of ‘rot’ and ‘not’. I don’t really want to guess at what’s happening with the characters as I’m likely way, way off. But I did wonder whether the first, with the willow-like arms, was a woman, as when the man came along you talk of this person being able to seduce him. But then again it could be man or woman, but basically the person you felt so deeply for, who perhaps didn’t feel as strongly as you did, went for this other man that was in your life, the one that ‘lied with body and tongue’ (an ex perhaps?)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks so much your feedback. It’s more valuable than you may realize! I was concerned that last bit got murky and you confirmed my suspicions. I need to figure out how to get it across more directly. The seducer is male. He was probably the best friend I ever had and like me, he was pansexual. He knew my male fiance was queer and was showing signs of being abusive and might be using me as his ‘beard’ (hiding his sexuality by engaging in a heterosexual relationship). So he attempted to seduce him to prove to me he wasn’t who he said. Only it backfired. My fiance knew exactly what he was doing and wouldn’t take the bait and of course made sure he got to me first after it happened. He was very clever and knew that if he resisted my bff’s advances, he could use it to alienate the two of us, a well known tactic many abusers engage in. So now I know I didn’t quite get the full picture in there and will have to come up with some clever ways of getting those intricacies in there. Very helpful for my edits and very much appreciated! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My hope is always that my poetry reflects real life and the complexities of relationships in a meaningful, but clever way. I’m glad you were able to connect with it and I really appreciate the feedback! Thanks for commenting!

    Liked by 1 person

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