A Reflection On Leaving, Alone

by Elizabeth   Dec 25, 2021


At our best we would have been just a far cry from perfect.
At our worst you could have cemented the bitterness in me.

But the reality of it passed us by
Like the train whose doors close as you arrive,
breathless on the platform.

You took my breath away.
You surgically extracted fear and placed laughter
Where my worst nightmares slept,
And I loved you in my way, when time allowed.

You brought Gentle to the table
Where I had expected Demands and Complications.
You kept things simple and rejected my advance.
You handled delicate all of my expectations,
And never outright crushed my hopes.

Who was I to know where all this came from?
Who was I to recognize the care you took?

I had places to be and people to meet,
I had dreams ahead that wouldn't wait on me.
I was living a deadline that meant I'd finally be free.
I was living in wait of all the people I'd be.

You.
You were there for every holiday that went bad.
You sat through silence after silence while I battled myself.
We knew we wouldn't last forever but those moments still count.
I still think fondly on Christmas out in the cold, in that barn.
I remember the smell of smoke in the air
When we burnt wood and then twigs and then pages I found.
All those hours we didn't have to share.

The years that we spent will remain with me here,
one million miles away from your life.
And my gratitude will span the Atlantic for you.
It has to,
There's nothing more to it.
You have your place there, chosen for or by you.
You made your mind up on that long ago.
And as much as I had wished things could be different,
I would never want to take you from home.

You would never be happy here, not the way I am.
And I would never be happy there at all.
I had the misfortune to be born in a place I can't call home,
But sometimes that's just the way these things go.

So I mean it when I say I hope you find your happiness,
Because these day I know I have found mine.
I think you'd like him, you cynic,
You impossible nuisance, in fact I know that you'd love him,
because I do.

'Cause when we last parted ways,
When you wouldn't ask me to stay,
I knew you only had my happiness in mind.

6


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Latest Comments

  • 3 weeks ago

    by Star

    It really amazes me when someone writes really honest raw pieces, I wish I could write like this. Congratulations on your win!

  • 3 weeks ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    I can't describe how I felt after reading this, except to say, it felt like such a "full" piece. The reminiscing of this love, the understanding and support you received, along with the acceptance of going separate ways over time. The last few stanzas especially felt so genuine, and I love how you shared that both of you just wanted each other to find that happiness. No bitterness. No passive aggression. Completely wanting the best for each other. These lines especially read as sincere and beautiful in your gratitude toward them:

    "The years that we spent will remain with me here,
    one million miles away from your life.
    And my gratitude will span the Atlantic for you."

    I can't express the beauty in how you wrote you would never want to take them from their home, just as you realize they would never be happy where you are at, not in the way you are.

    Such a thoughtful, soulful piece. Happy to read a new piece from you! Congrats on the win :)

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