"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Friday, March 26, 2010

Borrowed Wings

When you look back
in the rooms of your past self--
were you ever not lonely?
Were you ever strong?

I see you at sixteen
vulnerable and afraid;
worried and tempted.
But is this your reflection?

Or were you defiant…
brave (you thought) beyond reason-
only weak and broken
after the vows and the exchange of rings?

No matter now.
Your life has nearly passed.
Fifty years with someone
who might have robbed you of your spirit and soul.

What a choice to make
at sixteen, so young
in the shadow of poverty--
the grip of seduction.

I imagine your life without him.
Another choice.
Anything but the one you made.
Anyone but him.

I see you courted and loved-
not the twist of temptation.
Someone seeing you
in the small ways that denote you are seen.

You never had that.
At least not within my lifetime.
Not for the many years
I have watched you wither.

My sorrow for that
runs deep.
But I keep it at bay
in exchange for the pain I have endured.

You had other choices
after that first one.
No matter how looming his shadow.
No matter how lost your soul.

You could have gone-
disappeared with me
into the dew drenched morning
before he woke.

You could have stayed
and fiercely protected me;
showed me and him your intentions
even if they failed.

At least the battle
would have been fought
instead of the immediate surrender
of all of your purpose.

I was a casualty-
thrown to the front lines;
sacrificed because your strength failed-
leaving me behind in ashes.

My foundation was gone-
blown into the cloudless sky.
My sense of self
scattered in places too far to recover.

The things you didn’t get to do
Or see, or know, or have...
or be--
there is no way to undo a lifetime.

And I can’t be your only joy-
the weight eclipsing my own choices;
the guilt of all you lost
wrapped up in my biography.

I have to fly with borrowed wings
far away from all the wreckage…
Viewing from a high safe place
the choices you made.

artwork by Kathleen Piercefield.


Katherine March 26, 2010 at 3:14 AM  

That was beautiful Kim...heartfelt & beautiful!

Whitney Lee March 26, 2010 at 10:50 PM  

How heart wrenching and yet hopeful. You have painted quite a vivid picture.

Diggestive March 27, 2010 at 4:24 PM  

I really connected to that

thank you

Michelle March 28, 2010 at 4:45 PM  

Its never easy to love someone... especially someone whose every bad choice and flaw had profound impacts on our lives.

you are a wonderful poet... i am honored to read your work... i connect with it often, aswell.


Christina March 29, 2010 at 12:27 PM  

What a beautiful, heartwrenching tale!!! I too enjoy reading your posts!!!!

PrincessKate March 30, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

You have such a wonderful way with words! Your posts are so well crafted - they are a joy to read, even when the content is far from joyful... I hope that your poetry helps you cope with the hurts inflicted upon you so long ago..

Zena April 14, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

Words-worthy Indeed.Keep writing :)
l<3ve it!!!!!!!!!!!

California Girl May 31, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

this has to be the best poem I've read in blogs over the past 3 yrs. I just read it to my husband. It fits his mother. I'm supposing it fits yours.

you are gifted.

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