The Quiet: A poem about the pain of ending a long-term relationship

I mentioned that I was going to go into my older work for today's poetry, but I decided to share this one that was written this past February, soon after the breakup of my 12-year relationship.

This poem was written in the peak of my pain, and I'm posting it now as we are hopefully headed toward a reconciliation. Leaving was a necessity at that moment in time, but re-opening that door is a conscious choice and a response to real change and undefeated love.

If you've been there, and if you enjoy the poem, please comment. It's good to know you're here.

The Quiet

The quiet here in what was our home
is more disturbing than the words we say
when we're pretending that we're
handling this well.

Coming home to this absence of life,
of sound, of laughter.
There is no smile and no hug.
No one to greet when I walk in the door
except for the lonely feline
who can't understand
why you aren't coming back.

I keep turning on all the lights at night,
the bright white fluorescent glare
that I used to try and soften
with pretty lamps and
warm-colored shades.
You loved the darkness
and I wanted the light.
Now I have all the light I can stand
but no you.

I don't feel strong enough
to resist the pull of the tides,
the overwhelming urge
to run back to your arms
and find some relief.

But I know things will not change
unless I truly step away.
It may be for a year,
it may be forever.
I can't predict,
I can only listen
to my heart
and believe
that leaving
will prevent
more pain.

photo credit: terremonto on flickr

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