For today’s prompt, I was instructed to ‘Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.‘
I’ve taken ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy and the line “It is too late.”
Too late the realisation of what you had:
‘One who loved not wisely but too well.’
The woman pays, and that has been your song,
for as my own confession tumbled from my lips,
mirroring your own sordid secret, your eight-
and-forty hours of dissipation with a stranger,
I knew then what I still know now:
you judged me for not living up to your ideal.
In your mind, I was the perfect woman: pure
and virginal; and when
you found your idol had but feet of clay,
all hell broke loose.
‘You are not she! You are
another woman in her shape.’
It is too late.
Our paradise has been besmirched;
the Eden of innocence cannot contend
with knowledge once tasted. Pandora’s
evils have escaped; and it is too late
to put them back inside the box.