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27 Nov 2023

Shannon Frost


Full Moon


Dec 12th

Highlights from
the Conversation
with Jolene

Nov 13th

After Dolly Parton

                        Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene …

                        I wonder what it’s like to be you.

                        Unbridled power in those eyes of green,

                        and the skill to wield it, too.

                        I know you were not expecting me

                        but I have to say this to your face;

                        without him I feel no reason to be 

                        because nothing hurts like second place.

                        Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene …

                        The sight of you brings only despair.

                        You say we are women on the very same team

                        but around you, there is not enough air.

                        You tell me that it’s just a crush

                        and that you have no feelings for him,

                        but I know winning can be a rush

                        and you might just get the whim.

                        Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene …

                        Please give me the chance to try;

                        I may no longer be in his dreams

                        but I am still the one by his side.

                        You do not know our journey

                        or the love we’ve built over time;

                        you don’t have to hire an attorney

                        to divvy a marriage past its prime.

                        Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene …

                        I implore you to leave us both be;

                        if you have ever known compassion

                        please offer some to me.

                        I appeal to your conscience

                        and to the humanity we share;

                        I appeal to your humility

                        when you see him anywhere.

                        Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene …

                        I think that we are through.

                        But if he says your name again

                        I will be back for you. 

Behind the poem...

Doesn’t everyone compare themselves to their partner’s ex? I’m still batshit envious of someone who once sought my partner; someone who seems more attractive, successful and worthwhile than me whenever we’re compared. So Dolly Parton’s Jolene spoke to me on a fundamental level. There’s so much love between my partner and me; so much fear in losing my soulmate to another. This makes my poem something of a thought experiment: an imagining of what might happen if I were ever to face my jealousy and the person at whom it’s directed. Had Dolly confronted Jolene, this is how I believe their conversation would’ve gone. It’s also a take on how my own conversation might go someday.

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