Ashamed

of words unsaid

I whispered sorry

to a stone.

 

The crisp of leaves

scoffed at my penance

when I walked away

                      alone.

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She sat beside me

and watched me struggle

as I attempted to build

an empire from broken glass and tears

with retaining walls and a moat in defiance

of the tide.  

it will never be strong enough she told me

but there is nothing more you can do

it will soon be gone and I knew that

she was right.

I wiped the sands

of make-believe from my eyes and cheeks

and we sat together and watched the ocean

swallow the kingdom, leaving only wet

clumps of a childhood dream, an illusion

at our feet.  

follow me she said, and I walked with her to the edge

of the water. We stood ankle deep in silt

and broken shells. We stood in the only silence

that can be known on the edge of the water,

the kind of silence where you know

you are not alone

and never can be. We stood together,

worlds apart for what only seemed to be

an eternity.

 

Gentle swells brought children dancing in the surf

singing and playing the games that children play,

unknowingly conjuring spirits and speaking truths

they have yet to learn

                                          ring around

                                          the rosie

                                                         a pocket

                                                         full

She smiled at me and took my hands in hers

and we splashed and stumbled in circles

once, twice, three times

                                                          ashes

                                                          ashes

We all fall

And I knew it was time to let her go.

 

I turned away, holding in my hands the remnants

of her that had woven into my fingertips

and walked back up the sand

to my daughter, who was waiting for me

with the ocean in her bucket, waiting to build

sand castles.

I gave you everything I had–

Laid myself bare before you

During candlelit nights

As the world slept

And our conversation was a whisper

Only we could hear.

 

We grew together and it became

Impossible to know

Where I stopped

And where you began.

You were a part of me, you were able

To complete my sentences.

 

How can you now refuse me?

You meet my pleading eyes

With a cold, blank stare.

You brazenly touch others

The way you used to touch me, and leave me

 Waiting, wanting more.

 

They talk about you, your insight,

As if you are brilliant–

Some kind of wonderful.

Let me remind you, Darling–

You were nothing until me. I can destroy you

And erase your memory in an instant.

 

But I’ll just sit back and let you be. Go ahead–

Have your way with unsuspecting  strangers

Whose eyes you catch and whose hearts

You capture. Let it remind me always

That there is nothing more egotistical, more self-centered

Than a poem.