A single poem like “I pay — in Satin Cash — ” can describe a day’s point of view, a momentary thought, or a long-term philosophy. And I don’t want to forget the variety of influences Emily Dickinson has packed within the tiny poem itself. Whatever its emphasis, my response seems mostly to depend on conditions within my own heart and mind.

I pay — in Satin Cash — 

You did not state — your price — 

A Petal, for a Paragraph

Is near as I can guess

Who can avoid the sly suggestion of sexual energy, even illicit behavior, in perceiving payment to and from the speaker in “Satin Cash — ”?

Even though today I feel an inner conflict between my sense of duty and my desire to play, I hadn’t entertained thoughts of sex. At least not until I read this poem.

Either way, I am confined by the immediate concerns of the day. I might say to this day: “You did not state — your price — ” but I suspect its price will be in whatever might be accomplished to validate or benefit my relationships, or for the long term. For example, when I encountered friends on this morning’s walk I felt detached.  Their smiles and light-heartedness weren’t reflected in my feelings. It was nice to feel the influence of their happiness, but I couldn’t really relate.  It doesn’t mean I am depressed. I’ve been “here” before and I know just not to get into a situation where I can hurt others with my emotional coldness. 

“A Petal” of pleasant harmony between myself and others will have to wait until I get past the “Paragraph” of temporary aloofness that is today. At least this “Is near as I can guess”.


Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way