How Long Is Long Enough (poem)

If I could live once more my life, I would

But dream of finding one such one again,

The one who quickened once a distant thud

Of pressure in a long-neglected vein.

But dream of finding one such one again,

Have faith that you can stitch it where it tore;

Of pressure in a long-neglected vein

Your searing need will always leave you sore.

Have faith that you can stitch it where it tore,

Though every mile of thread is sure to hurt;

Your searing need will always leave you sore

Of hands that hammer doors until they’re heard.

Though every mile of thread is sure to hurt

The one who quickened once a distant thud

Of hands that hammer doors until they’re heard,

If I could live once more my life, I would.

 

Written by Sean Gibson. A version of this poem first appeared in The Circle 19: a Brussels Anthology (Idle Time Press, 2019).

 

How Long Is Long Enough‘ is a pantoum, and I’ve ended up writing quite a few of these.

It’s often written in iambic pentameter, like this one, but I’ve seen plenty of great examples that don’t follow that at all. The repeating lines can be tricky to balance, but really powerful.