Mysterious Others
by Ute Carson
Gringolandia Santiago Magazine, January 2012

I want to know so much about the lives of others!
I slip into my dead mother's sweater
but her scent clings to my nose only by association.
I cradle my lover in my arms
and wonder if he is fantasizing
about his high school sweetheart?
I am glued to my grandmother's tales
how she grew up in a castle
and I wish I could crawl into her skin
to experience her feelings beyond her words.
When my little grandson falls asleep on my lap
I would like to follow him in his dreams to stones and sticks
or the green frog which hopped out of his grasp.
And then there are the terrible pains,
hunger, loss and confinement.
I can't even stretch my imagination
to go to those dark places.

I feel like a spy,
my ears against a wall.
I hear whispers and laughter,
I catch the word, "Stop,"
and I think of lovers teasing, quarreling?
But when I locate the keyhole
and peek through it
I only see two old men playing cards.

I gather snippets from facts, story lines,
and try to relate them to my own emotions
but all I end up with
are guesses, interpretations
which soak through my imagination
like rain on dessert land.
How little will I ever know much
about the mysteries of others.

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