“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” by Steve Romer

“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”
by Steve Romer

So when at last the trash is taken out
And only the essential things remain,
I then begin to lessen in my doubt
Of who it is that lives behind my name.

Stripped of all the nonsense and the dross
That fills the many corners of my life,
I understand that freedom is the loss
Of all that does not lift my eyes to light.

Where once the waste of many years had lay,
There now is just a clean and empty place;
It only asks that as it is, it stay;
That light of day may now its corners grace.

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Many thanks to Steve Romer, our friend at our Friday Evening meetings, for sharing one of his poems with us and giving me permission to post it here. About this poem, he wrote this:

A few things about this piece. I’ve been going through some life changes lately, being forced to relinquish things/values/beliefs I once thought important. Eventually I realized my active participation in the process was important. That realization was the genesis of this piece. The title is deliberately taken from a short story of the same title by Hemingway [Wikipedia: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place]. I had read the story a long time ago, and the title always stuck with me. I have just reread the story, and I doubt a casual reader would draw connection between the two. I think, however, the poem describes why, on some level, the inhabitants of his story would find a clean, well-lighted place a desirable place to be.

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