Sestina

I made a big mistake in trusting you,
I should have realised I talk too much,
I always have, suppose I’ll always do,
But even so, how could I ever touch
On such things as I did with you? my head
Needs shrinking for the foolish things I said.

But though so many foolish things I said,
Far, far more foolish was my trusting you,
In future I’ll keep silent, and my head
Will not unlock its thoughts, whate’er I do,
Least not its inner thoughts, because too much
Has yet been said, and with too firm a touch.

My brief successes went straight to my head,
They made me feel I had the Midas Touch,
’Twas them that spurred the foolish things I said,
And made me talk too openly, too much,
Confiding, as I shouldn’t have, in you,
But at the time it seemed the thing to do.

Yes, damage has been done, but not too much,
You didn’t permanently wreck my head,
For though I was affected by your touch
’Twas only by the pointed things you said,
Because, whatever else I say or do,
Or said or did, I didn’t worship you.

The others thought I did, and that your touch
Beguiled me, as so often witches’ do,
But if it did, it didn’t hex me much,
For though I’ve trusted no one else like you,
And though I hearkened everything you said,
You never really got inside my head.

I’ve no doubt that is what you tried to do
With all the kind and flatt’ring things you said,
I’m sorry if I disappointed you,
But no one’s ever looked inside my head,
Nor ever will! howe’er refined their touch,
I value my identity too much.

Not you nor anyone has seen my head,
Oh yes, you glimpsed my thoughts, but didn’t touch
My soul, I never trusted you that much.

[This was written for a competition. If I recall, a guy in New York calling himself the World Order of Narrative Poets, asked for a sestina, and there were other forms including some he’d invented himself. I recall I mentioned Baronmeter to him but never received any comment. The text and punctuation have been amended slightly from the original, which, hopefully, is lost forever].

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