Vows, a poem written by Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay) at Spillwords.com

Saying Goodbye

Part II


written by: Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)



I was 21 the day we made it official,

but had really taken my vows

long before.
Before I proposed
on April Fools Day
and she said ‘yes.’


Long before that night
I first saw her in the


And like two fools,

we thought that was fine.


But vows are merciless things,

You won’t listen to reason,
they know,

with your eyes full of hunger
for each other’s
and your ears full
of music and laughter
and dreams.

It’s easy to make promises
when you

don’t know all that will be asked of you,

the blood and the bone and the griefs—

the fine print of a life together

inked in powdered gold

and blood—

But that’s when we make them,
as children, really.


When we made them.


The truth unfolds,
bit by bit,

day by day.

What we learned yesterday

let us get used to what happened today.

We find out
where we’re weak
and where strong.

Testings tell us whether
we’re someone people

can count on.

But you never learn these things
you have solemnly vowed,
and keep the promises

made in lust and giddiness,
hope and ignorance.

There are some lessons

we find out only
along a long trail,

until your feet are worn
as thin as paper

and the dust of the road is a
new skin.

Vows are merciless things,
but sometimes they
keep us from taking
easy outs.

Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

OCTOBER 2016 / JULY 2019 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
“Hemmingplay,” is the pen name of Doug Stanfield, who grew up on a family farm in western Ohio, went with his parents for two years in Karachi, Pakistan, in high school and had lived, until recently, in Bellefonte, PA with his late wife, Wilda and their two sons, Ben and John. Doug was a writer, editor and director of internet communications at Penn State for 26 years. He has had a few disreputable occupations, including newspaper reporter and editor, and public relations flak, but is trying to make amends for his sins by writing poetry and fiction.
When his sons were safely off making their own mistakes, he turned on the computer one day, stared at the screen for what seemed a long time, and began to learn the craft anew at age 67.
Doug has published three books so far: "Mermaid Sisters: First Dive", a children's book on iTunes/iBook; "I Came From A Place of Fireflies" published as a paperback and Kindle on Amazon, and a new book of poetry, "Snowflakes & Ashes: Meditations on the Temporary”, available as both an ebook and as a paperback. (Gatekeeper Press) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, and a few others.)
Doug Stanfield (Hemmingplay)

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This publication is part 2 of 20 in the series Saying Goodbye