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His Ex, My Oh
Isabelle5

He wore her on his sleeve,
 1
like an emblem declaring
 2
him a member of the
 3
“My girl is hot!” Club.
 4
Years later, I lie on his bed,
 5
looking at the picture
 6
propped against his radio.
 7
His arm is warmly around her,
 8
(protective or possessive, it’s hard to tell).
 9
She stands with her head
 10
against his chest, close,
 11
confident in his care, unaware that she is
 12
but a trophy bird he caught
 13
to have and to hold,
 14
to be stuffed and
 15
mounted on a shelf.
 16
 
 
He does not attempt to wear me at all.
 17
I dangle from his belt loop
 18
by the fingertips of one hand,
 19
the other hand tripping
 20
all the pretty young girls who
 21
catch his eye with their
 22
be-jewelled belly buttons winking arrogantly
 23
above low riding jeans.  
 24
 
 
I am not lost in jealousy, as he imagines,  
 25
but in sepia-edged memories
 26
of when I was the proud emblem
 27
worn on the sleeves of young men,
 28
sorority-sister in the “I’m a Hot Girl!” Club.
 29
 
 
Stuffed and mounted more than once,
 30
now on my own, resting
 31
with my own arms around me,
 32
my feathers dulled by Life’s dust
 33
but there are men with mental trophy rooms
 34
where I still stand bright and young, (oh, so young!)
 35
bending their sleeves with the weight of me.
 36

29 Sep 05

Rated 8.7 (7.6) by 15 users.
Active (15): 1, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (21): 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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Comments:

Sad, beautifully written.  Whatever happened to feminism.
 — Roz

I never was a feminist, I was a young, feminine optimist.  I wanted to be a wife and mommy, maybe write some poems and books on the side.  I got to be a wife and a mother and now I have to think what to do with the empty years ahead without the husband and with children grown and moved to other states.

It is a breaktaking amount of personal freedom, Ladies, in case you're thinking that it's lonely.  It can be but it can be productive and full and without having to ask permission for anything at all.  What a relief!
 — Isabelle5

Make that breathtaking.  Gee, what a difference one letter can make!
 — Isabelle5

Hey, this is a beatifully written, heartfelt piece, but it still feels like it needs just that last extra oomph. If I could give this a 9.9 I would, but it's not quite a ten yet. Maybe a couple more powerful words, maybe a couple lines reworded, I can't say what will make this better, but I know it's oh so close to being just right. A few lines are absolutely awesome, 34-36 are awesome. Maybe it' the "my girl is hot" and the "I'm a hot girl" lines that seem to pull away from this otherwise whistful and reflective piece. Lose those, and it would give this the extra boost it wants, I think. But it's just a personal opinion, for me it would help the mood.
 — Doulos

Isa, I knew that was you the moment I read it ...
you definitely have that style of yours, unmistakable, rich, exquisite ...
Wonderfully done, as always, thank you
Maria
 — slancho

Doulos, how would you change this to keep the idea of the I've got a hot girl club without saying it?  
 — Isabelle5

where I still stand bright and young, (oh, so young!)

that creased me up
 — unknown

This is truly execelent.  This is one of the best poems that I have come across in a long time in both the amateur and professional arena.  I love your imagery.  I love everything about this.  It's sad but it is also profoundly touching.  I Really Really Really love it!  One of my favorites!
 — Emilily

wow its beautiful......reminds me of dirty old men.....make that rich dirty old men.....but u seem like the controller of all of them in this poem......love it.....just wondering do you publish any of your poems?....
 — UrbanAng3l

Well written and full of meaning. Beyond my experience (i had better check with my lass). Thank you, much room for thought here.
 — WilliamGruff

great poem
 — bobbykeyes

nice poem.
 — hank

love it
 — rlively

I knew it was by you, Isabelle. From the start. Very good imagery, and a nice example of the spitting image of, well... you.
 — pennylane

Pennylane, I'm astonished and delighted.  I don't always know my own voice so if it comes through sometimes recognizably, I'm happy.  Thank you!  You made my day - well, that and my grandson being born at 2 am!
 — Isabelle5

this is so cool
 — tragicbubble

beautiful thoughts!
 — unknown

i dont really get this poem but it was a good poem
 — unknown

You don't get this?  It's a woman who is old enough not to compete for a man's affection or attention, nor jealous of younger, prettier girls, because she had her own coterie of male attention when she was young and since she still attracts men, she can be content with growing older and love her new old self.
 — Isabelle5

I really like this.
 — anonymous_i

Lovely - completely beautiful.  The last line does it all for me.
 — WordsAndMe

OMG, so Good! It's very realistic and the imagery is perfect. I can relate.
 — FolleRouge

I love the title. Very witty.
 — leukothea

Dear Isabelle

This is one fantasic poem

Larry
 — larrylark

Larry, I tried to e-mail you and was given the dreaded DEMON reply that your e-mail is bad for me.

Imc
 — Isabelle5

Back on a reread.  Recently found a picture of my boyfriend's ex in his room - initially, I was going to become a typical, raving, jealous-for-no-true-reason, 17 year old girlfriend -- then, I decided to come read this peice.  Thanks, Isabelle.  For indirectly mending my situation you never knew would come to be :).  A great write!
 — WordsAndMe

Glad to be helpful.  I hate feeling jealous, don't you?  
 — Isabelle5

this is really nice. it's so sad, though. and sadly true. it's written beautifully. <3
 — missmurder

thus us amazing. thank you.
 — Seeker

What a great poem, Isabelle.  Really.  Nicely done.  It's a sad poem, but in another way..I don't know, I guess the end just seemed optimistic (in a way) to me.  You did a great job presenting this, and I have no critique.
 — MEB

This is not supposed to be a sad poem!  It's an acknowledgment that we all have a turn in the sun and the memory of it keeps us from being jealous of the new ones.  Secure and calm poem, not envious and certainly not sad (well, maybe a teense but not much!).  imc
 — Isabelle5

I understand what you're saying, but the sad part (for me, anyway) is that men fail to see the beauty of older women as well as younger women.
 — MEB

I have found that they very much appreciate older women, at least the guys I have been blessed to know.  But we have to be realistic about it -  They want children of their own someday and I'm not doing all that again.  I had my shot at it, I don't begrudge them theirs.  I know what you mean, though.  I wish I was young again and knew what I know now.  
 — Isabelle5

I'd take the wisdom of experience over the vulnerabilies of innocence anyday.  Thankyou for sharing this poem.  this is very fine work.
 — unknown

we are our own sentimental objects only leant to others. This speaks from an honest heart, raw and unflinching in its delivery and a beautiful earnest poem.

Caducus
 — Caducus

I really like this one. Its very real, lots of the poetry on this site can be airy fairy and pretentious, but this is perfect. One of the best poems I've ever read to be honest!
 — icepineapple

Line 25-26 are my favourites., line 23-24 are my least favourites, but overall I love this poem so that isn't really much of a criticism.  This is longer than I usually like but  was riveted.
 — propoet50

BOOOOOOOOOOOO
 — unknown

wow! very will done.
 — soccerangel

Isabelle, lovely. I hope to learn from you.
 — Meredith

in my experience, it is a tad rare to find a "man" that is not somehow very much a boy inside; regardless of age( myself included ). i've always considered women to generally be the more mature of the sexes ( perhaps due to their pubescent head-start? ). i can empathize with your comment on permission for sure. it is enjoyable.nice poem...
 — chuckles

In my experience (as a woman), it's impossible to find an adult who doesn't have a bit of child peeking out from behind the eyes, asking, "Did they catch on that I'm an imposter yet?"  We're all illusions...
 — Isabelle5

Very cool!  Very strong independant woman!  Love it
 — valleygirl

SWEET perfection!!  Author! Author!!  Show thyself...
 — aforbing

Of course, it's IMC.  I should have known...
 — aforbing

Well, thanks for reading a year later, A!  hahaha  Been a little busy, have you? lol
 — Isabelle5

Yeah... I can't believe I missed out on this one for a YEAR!!!!!!!!  My loss!
 — aforbing

So, so, beautiful! I cant believe i missed this for a year either.
 — nickiblitz

I blinked and it was on the Best list, blinked again and it's gone!  hahaha, that's how it goes here.
 — Isabelle5

it definately deserves to be on the best list. well expressed.
 — SteelAngel

I am a woman of 60.  It takes life and time to write this poem.  Bravo
 — unknown

i love line 33.
 — unknown

I just found this again, and I still love it.
 — FolleRouge

Thank you, sincerely.
 — Isabelle5

I love it more every time I read it.  Glad to see it on "America's Top 40" again.  
 — aforbing

hahaha is Casey Kasem still alive? hahaha
 — unknown

This is an excellent poem, but it seems to have more to do with the importance of physical appearance than I can understand.
 — shoes

I'm so glad this made it back to the Top Rated list; otherwise I might have never gotten the chance to read it. I always enjoy your work, Isabelle, as well as your tactful comments. The delicate internal rhymes of L12 and L33 illustrate what is so great about this piece, and the last line... killer. Way to go!
 — DrakeScott

isabelle this is my favorite poem of yours
 — humblebee

it is beautiful. honest and every bit of youth captured. it's simply real. great work.
 — dmartin

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