Evidently, I’m on a poetry jag for a few days. I ran across a whole file of poems that I’d forgotten about, and this one decided to grab me by the neck. It’s called “Cowardice.”
I remember how it felt:
half fear, half intoxicating joy.
Your first embrace enfolded me,
in its presumption.
No question in your eyes wondered
if I’d welcome your advance.
You knew I would.
And I —
by bad choices and worse losses —
I trembled before your confidence,
found myself following, where I’d expected to lead,
learned my life’s lessons had taught me nothing
and discovered a passion, fully kindled,
where I’d been hoarding only ashes.
I’d thought those embers had died,
but they merely slumbered,
awaiting not an inconstant spark,
but an abiding flame
To quicken them.
I expect it was the same with you:
Years spent alone,
ragged wounds cauterized ruthlessly
and covered so none could see.
Reluctant comprehension that the light of lesser flames
was not for you,
and the time for striking an abiding passion
Strange, then, that the ashes
we’d each guarded so long
should catch so quickly.
Having seen the light awaken in your eyes,
I have not the courage
to watch it fade
as I know it must.
Ah, love. You were my best choice in this life,
my worst loss.Share on Facebook