A Kind of Villanelle

I will have been walking away:
no matter what direction I intended,
at that moment, I will have been walking

Away into the direction that you now say
I have always intended, no matter what my
intention was then, I will have been

Walking away, though it will not be clear
what it was that I was leaving or
even why, it seems that you will say

That always, I was walking away,
intending a direction that was not towards
you, but moving away with every step,

Or, even when I pretended to be walking
towards you, only making the place
for my feet to go backwards,

Away, where I will have been walking,
always away:   intention and direction
unknown, but knowing you will always
say I will have been walking away.

“A Kind of Villanelle” from Coming Back to the Body by Joyce Sutphen. © 2000 by Joyce Sutphen. Used by permission of Joyce Sutphen and the publisher, Holy Cow! Press.
Source: Coming Back to the Body (Holy Cow! Press, 2000)
More Poems by Joyce Sutphen