Half A Life Later

today,
half a life later
comes the first time
i take out the pain.
strong enough to seek,
willing to consider
a long buried truth;
the impact of
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
i recognize
your rejection,
your abandonment
has formed who i am;
my private heart kept from others.
i can trace it all back to
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
i still hate your failings.
you should have hurried
to be my friend.
rather you dug, clawed, hurt me.
but i wasn’t the enemy.
i wasn’t the cause of
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
i see it can’t be
as i’ve always believed;
it can’t be that you chose to go,
gave up on purpose, too easy,
leaving me young, bewildered,
aching, angry from
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
i suspect a high cost
for considering that
losing the war of black death
was not your choice.
but i can’t bear the pain
if i remove your blame for
the profound loss of
you.

and now,

half a life later
i am surprised by raw pain
i thought was buried so deep
it would’ve surely dissolved.
but it’s resurfaced, alive,
obstructing clear view,
refusing to let me ignore
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
with no warning it comes,
twisting my heart round to see,
showing me it has life,
pointing to the hole,
i thought i’d covered,
but instead i find gaping with
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
my heart sees that i am
not really better
because i escaped.
instead, by leaving the pain,
i lost the possible,
forever unknown to me for denying
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
i now must allow
that after i’d grown
on my own and come home,
we’d have loved, laughed, said sorry
and been strong for each other
had it not been for
the profound loss of
you.

half a life later
i must also accept
that it is for me on my own
to do what we would have together;
to laugh, love and say sorry,
living what’s left of my life without grudge,
strong and open in spite of, because of
the profound loss of
you.

but before i do, you must know

half a life later
i can finally say from my heart
that i miss who we might have been
given the chance.
and i wish i had missed you more often
and forgiven your leaving,
instead of burying deep
the profound loss of
you.

to my mom,
who died half my lifetime ago.
~ cj 2002.12.02

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2 Responses to Half A Life Later

  1. Pat Sykora says:

    I lost my mother in April. I spent most of my adult life angry with her because she couldn’t be who I wanted her to be. I felt many of the things you express so beautifully here. I am grateful that I was able to come to a peace with her (and my dad) while she was still alive. I was honored to be by her side most of her last week on earth – the daughter who left was the only one who finally stayed. I presided over her vigil, joyfully, carrying within me the strength I knew I had because of the pain I had survived. A strange and awe-filled way to receive gift. Would I be who I am had she been who she could have been?

    • cjromb says:

      No. You wouldn’t be. All of us are who we are because of the others in our lives. Even you have impacted me in this short period of time.

      I have several other poems about my mom that I haven’t put up yet. Believe it or not, what’s up here isn’t even half of my stuff. Prolific. Frighteningly so for better or worse.

      I am so honored that you are carefully paying attention to what I write and that it matters to you. Regardless of where our friendship goes, you’ve touched me and motivated me to continue.

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