" Surviving "


The shoes you left beside the door,

Your hats upon the shelf,

The fragrance that I know as you,

My hollow, aching self,

The way the cat still looks for you,

Your clothes in neat array,

Remind me that I'm all alone,

Since you have gone away.

The letters in their ribboned box,

The tune of some old song,

Those words escaping from my lips

Forgetting you are gone,

The whippoorwill who's calling still,

The porch swing in the dark,

No one to share a joke or pain,

Dear God!  You left your mark.

Expectantly I hurry home,

Before I realize,

That you won't be there with a hug,

Then I break down and cry.

The nightime ritual of care

When you would hold me close,

Is gone forevermore, My Love,

That's what I miss the most.

I've rearranged, I've moved your things

And tried to clear a way,

That I might learn to live again.

I wish that you had stayed!

I sold your truck, and paid your bills,

I've tried my very best.

Surviving isn't easy here.

Love can't be "laid to rest".

I'll keep on keeping on, I guess.

That's what you asked of me.

You told me so in loving words

A gentle heartfelt plea.

I thought that I had gotten through

The biggest pain and then,

I found that letter of "goodbye",

Love words from your own hand.

You said you realized your time

Was short and I'd be left.

You told me not to waste my time

In tears, alone, bereft.

You said that I had brought you peace

That you had never known.

You told me of a love so dear

It makes my heart yet groan.

The smallest things still bring a tear,

For one who loved so true,

The guilt I feel, not being there,

Keeps me its prisoner too.

How long you suffered silently

And never let me know!

And then you had to die alone,

Dear God!  That hurts me so!

I don't expect to ever meet

A man as fine and true.

My heart is buried in the clay

They spread to cover you.

Sometimes in awe I think how that

For what was much too brief,

I knew a love who made me whole.

Why did you have to leave?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Last week when I finally tried to go through some drawers--to sort through his papers--to face his absence--I FOUND AN ENVELOPE ADDRESSED TO ME.  It was unsealed and had no stamp, but it sure packed a whallop of love and concern.  It even made me laugh two times.  My Jim could make a dog laugh.  I could be furious and he could have me laughing so hard I forgot all about being angry with just a few words.  It made me cry too--for a treasure I lost and will NEVER regain.  The song in the background is September Song.  We met in September.  September Song was one of our favorites.  Can you hear it Jim?

View onelilartist's Full Portfolio
Lesa Gay's picture

I am so sure he can hear the song Jess, as I am sure that he looks down on you daily and tries to make you understand that he was not truly alone when he passed. I am sure that there was a whole band of Angel's beside him to escort him to heaven.

I know of your feelings of guilt him being alone when he died. I had a very close friend that passed away Christmas eve in our home while housesitting for us a couple of years ago. Judy lived her life alone and died alone. The thought of her alone at the time of her death haunts me, so I do understand my friend.

You have nothing to feel guilty for. You know that Jim loved you, and perhaps the Lord decided to spare you actually seeing him leave. He was not alone Jessica. I promise you that her was not alone. Love, Lesa

TREXPATTON's picture

This is a masterpiece. I am just so sorry for the emotional loss which prompted it. This is the deepest and most beautiful poetry I have ever read. Sad yet glad you share it, Teddy

"Poe" I'm not, nor "Rich" am I,
but I'll be famous, b'ye and b'ye !

shar's picture

Oh my...you were so sweet and kind about my poem for my dad, but this poem of yours totally broke my heart. What beautiful and heartfelt words. Never have I read something so wonderfully full of love. I read this and immediately thought to myself..'this must be JUST how my mom feels about losing dad'...it's the most beautiful poem I've ever read.

Thank you so much for leaving me all your critique on my poems. You have flattered me so and made me proud. Also, given me great incentive to continue writing again...here's a 'hug' from a stranger who appreciates your words....:)