Today we’re taking a break from the Q&A with our masthead to bring you a post written by one of our contributors. Read Anne R. Allen’s poem “No One Will Ever Love Him,” (Spring 2013) and find out what event prompted her to compose the piece.
The Story Behind the Poem, “No One Will Ever Love Him”
by Anne R. Allen
I’m not really a poet. My muse seems to have a comfort zone of 60K-100K words. I’ve only had about a dozen poems and short stories published over the last decade—most of them written before I was publishing novels.
“No One Will Ever Love Him“—written about a year ago—is my most recent.
When a poem or flash-fiction piece comes to me, it often emerges as a whole, needing only a few alterations. It will usually show up when I’m working on something longer or my focus is elsewhere.
Like a needy little kid, the poem will keep tugging on me until I give it the attention it needs.
This particular poem came to me while I was on the phone. I’d been listening to a former friend complain about a bad boyfriend. I say “former” because this woman developed some serious talkaholic problems that made it tough to maintain a friendship. She’d get home from work and dial my number and dump her complaints of the day but never let me speak.
I think she knew what I was likely to say, and she couldn’t bear to hear it.
She’d had a series of boyfriends who all seemed to have substance abuse problems combined with difficult-mother issues.
On this occasion, my friend told me at great length how her bad boyfriend had abused a dog.
It upset me a lot, and because she talked over me when I tried to respond, I wasn’t able to tell her what I wanted to say: “Run! You’re going to be next.”
She nattered on about this man’s terrible childhood with an alcoholic mother, and how she felt it was up to her to give him the love he’d never had.
“No one has ever loved him!” she kept saying.
“And no one ever will,” I said. “Not the way he wants. Because he doesn’t believe he’s lovable Can’t you see how hard he’s working to create a self-fulfilling prophecy?”
She hung up on me.
I grabbed a piece paper and wrote this poem.
Anne R. Allen is the author of six romantic-comedy mysteries and a guidebook for authors co-written with Catherine Ryan Hyde. Anne’s blog, which she shares with Ruth Harris, was named one of Writer’s Digest’s Best 101 Websites for Writers for 2013. Her award-winning poems and short fiction have appeared in journals as diverse as the literary humor magazine Opium and the Silver Boomer Anthology From the Porch Swing.