I Am...


The dark side of your harvest moon;

The song of love that's sung too soon,

Although it's sung for you.

The last bus home, that you've just missed;

The fading dream when lovers kissed,

For love can be untrue.

The wind that whistles in the wires;

The smoke that rises from the fires

To vanish in the air.

The letter, read, then thrown away;

The stone, unturned, beside the way.

But life is rarely fair.

The hill to climb, that's much too steep;

The waters, still, but far too deep;

The gambit you declined.

The captive bird that you set free;

The driftwood on the open sea.

Yes, fate can be unkind.

All of this I am, and more;

The nearly man outside your door —

I am... I am... I am.

Copyright © Robert Haigh 2010

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The photograph is a kind of self-portrait: I held the tiny leaf in my left hand and took the picture with my right hand, using my Fuji compact camera.

which is to say



magic. do you remember believing in magic? i remember it better than i remember how to tell you what i want. which is to say i hardly remember it at all.



old photocopies. old handprints. i am spinning, i am wearing the worst outfits i chose myself, i exist in these worlds. which is to say once i was that girl. i don’t recall the shift.



last night i had a dream none of my clothes fit anymore and they chased me down the driveway until i stopped running. which is to say this is how i see myself. i can’t remember when i stopped being that girl.



this morning i tried to choose the right colors and slip into the right curves to pull your eyes to me. my mirror smiles as if to say she loves me while she simply tells me what i want to hear. nice try. which is to say i am still looking for someone to be as constant as she is. i am still looking for that much needed slap in the face that still feels like a hug. i am looking for answers.



one day the claws inside me started reaching for everyone i saw on the street. and i read it as fear or pure animal attraction. which is to say what is the difference? in the deep dark pit of my human i just want their eyes on me.



when everyone else is asleep i make my worst decisions. my heart squeezes morse code pleadings: why? again? which is to say deep down i don’t understand love. i can’t even spell its name in my own language.



if mom called right now she would tell me it was bedtime. which is to say another night passes backwards and i still can’t tell.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 12/27/20

View tallsquirrelgirl's Full Portfolio

Out with the Loathing, In with the Benevolence


The pain of being left behind has lingered inside you for years, years, years.


So you thought the patrons berating me weren’t bad enough, nuff, nuff.


I had open wounds all over my body.


And you dumped a bucket of salt on them.


You knew perfectly well how hurt I was before that.


Yet you tie a leash on my neck and commanded me to listen


Like the dog I was when I barked back at you.




No matter what my decision was, I was going to lose to you.


My attachment to you was the perfect gun for you to fire


Because it was loaded with the tablets that nearly did you in.


On that fateful day, you survived and I thought that true love was out of my reach.


You would have had the last laugh, but several days later, the joke’s on you.


I’m someone else’s now so tough luck and good riddance to bad rubbish.



You say you’re free of me,


Yet your memories of me have locked you up


and thrown away the key.



I know that because you have loads of trouble letting go of the past.



You can vent ‘til the cows come home that I never
made time for you, you, you!


Everything has to be about me, me, me!


But that was only the surface you scratched.


That’s the furthest you ever went.


It says more about you than me.


Hell, a beefcake could clear his schedule for you better than I can.



But his chivalry might be aggressive mimicry.




If he breaks your heart, it ain’t my problem.


Now that I’m out of your reach, you can’t touch me.


I’m mingling with the losers like I’m dancing in a nightclub in Italy.


It was a wakeup call to screw your shade


Because one of them loves everything about me.



It’s not looking the other way. It’s enjoying the person I was born to be.





Every day I don’t look you up online

Nor read your old messages, my memories of you hurt less and less.

While I can visualize you a decade from now

Still being stroppy about the delusion that I never cared for you.

Who knows? You could call me a cunt and still claim part of you loves me.

And you’re sorry it had to be this way.


But… fuck no! Let’s be real. You’re not sorry. No aspect of you loves me.



You played the sarcasm card on me. So how about a taste of your own medicine for a change?

Good luck becoming a psychologist with the attitude of a wack job.

Good luck getting that degree while you throw a fit on every single assignment you get.

Good luck handing that very same garbage you threw at me to a couple getting a divorce.

I can’t wait to see a patient badmouth you on Reddit and turn you into a court jester.

Maybe I did learn a lesson from you after all;

Knowing when it is time to let go and never come back.

Love Used To Live Here

Love used to live here in this house,

but it never looked happy. It spent

most of its time hiding in the cupboards

or under the bed. When it did come out

it was busy bouncing off the walls.

Then one day it found the door left

slightly open and it was out of here.

We saw it go, skipping across the fields.

I don't suppose we really tried to stop it,

but it was always too tricky for us anyway.

Copyright © Robert Haigh 2010

Sally and Ben

Ben was kinda rough around the edges,

But Sally didn't care.

He came without promises or pledges,

But at least he was there.

She'd loved many men in her time, and yet

None had treated her well.

Would Ben turn out to be a better bet?

Now only time would tell.

Three things in Ben's favour: he neither drank,

Nor smoked, nor chased women.

So for those three things alone Sally could thank

Her lucky stars. Amen!

Much more than that, Ben sure was a cute one;

Sal saw that from the start.

She loved him like her only son;

Yes —

That kitten stole her heart!

Copyright © Robert Haigh 2017

You Don't Know Me (Reprise)

I’ve proven people wrong before.

You are hardly an exception.


You said I should be single for a long time.

Venting to my friends who were right about you was the real medicine.

And plenty of boys say I’m a catch before they get to know who I am.


You said I need to grow up.

But you’re unemployed and you bash a girl that was slandered by her best friend.

I love being told what a snotty person I am both at work and when I’m with you.


You said I’m self-absorbed and immature.

I saved an artist you cruelly envied on his birthday from a debt that was killing him slow.

It was the best 30 pounds I ever spent this week because it was out of selfless love.


You said you deserve so much better than me.

You tried to gaslight me into thinking that no living soul is good enough for me.

You took the easy way out instead of bearing with me a little longer.


You said I don’t understand how relationships work.

That’s all you’re right about because what one person doesn’t find sexy might attract another.

So neither do you.


You said a piece of you will always love me.

You were just kidding yourself when you said that.

Some therapist you’re turning out to be, dearest.


It felt hazy that I pondered for days or even weeks

On how I was going to repay you for your compassion and charity.

You don’t deserve to know what I had planned for you.


If you somehow worm your way back into my life,

I won’t be crying my eyes out like the time when a bastard was unfaithful to you.

Instead, I will stand my ground like a rock and kick you in the crotch.


You had one opportunity to take things slow so we could get along.

But you’re not getting a second chance because I don’t trust you.

Does this explain why you claim I don’t love you?


Fast-forward to last week to the part where I started anew with another dude.

He’s a scary one that could do more damage to you than me.

He loves me for everything you hate about me.

He’s the kind of boy whose easy to set aside time for

While I hit the books and explore the world because he’s along for the ride.


I couldn’t be more attracted to him every time he touches me to say, “You’re mine.”

It’s not because he desires to put me on a leash and lock me up.

It’s because he understands where I’m coming from and he too thinks “give and take” is crap.

Yet, he loves me like the Holy Grail because he tells me that I’m the best part of every day to him.


Relationships are like snowflakes.

No two function the same way because people are complex creatures with different standards.

Yours certainly were a mystery and to this day, I wondered how it all went wrong.

Our final days were a thin line between love and hate.

I already know which direction you went.

That’s one thing you and the monsters in my nightmares have in common.

Last Call

She called me, long distance;

her voice sounding more distant

than ever before.

I could hear the word


in every sentence,

even though she

never said it.

Her voice sounded as melodic

as ever, but it rang with

melancholy minor chords

in a measured diminuendo.

A requiem for

our long distance love.

Her work would take her

to Rome in a few days.

A nice apartment

near Piazza Navona.

How wonderful, I said.

After a few random pieces

of small talk, she said

she would see me soon.

I knew she was really saying

Goodbye - 

even though she never

used the word.

But I did.

I whispered it


as the line went dead.

Copyright © Robert Haigh 2011

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Photo: Piazza Navona, Rome

View silver_birch's Full Portfolio

Entropic Thoughts of You

I whispered our secrets to the north wind,

Little knowing they would reach other ears.

I dreamed we had an everlasting love,

But those dreams turned out to be illusions.

Opposites attract, but some opposites

Are too polar to accomodate change.

Sad truth: regret and loneliness endure,

Though our lives drifted apart long ago.

Like an achingly sad song, our lost love

Remains on constant replay in my head.

A full moon lies cradled in the treetops,

And you sit here in the back of my mind.

Copyright © Robert Haigh 2020 




View silver_birch's Full Portfolio

You Don't Know Me

You poor little porcupine.

It startled me that you jumped in front of a moving car.

I wish I could be there for you and help in any way I can.

But your quills pricked my heart when I gave you a hug.


I cannot pull them out or I would die.

So I had to tolerate this pain and let it suck the life out of me little by little

While I think back to when our affection for each other mended every obstacle we faced.


The future was bright for us.

You couldn’t stand by to let me sink

So you taught me to swim.

I wanted to return the favor badly.

But I didn’t know how I could, sadly.


The possibilities were endless when we spoke of our dreams.

You could picture yourself coming to my rescue and growing old with me.

You couldn’t wait to hear my voice as if your favorite show was about to air on TV.

You made every effort to show that you loved me

Even if I have nothing to give you in return except my own.


A year passed and the storm clouds were brewing.

The weather grew colder and attitudes turned sour.

I was working hard and I felt out of breath.

You were studying hard and you turned inflammable.


“Where was I when you needed me most?” you asked “calmly” one day.

“I’ve been fighting my own battles all this time.” I tell you. “Life hasn’t been kind to me lately.”

Please, please bear with me. I’m tired and I’m scared. I’m going to be left to my own devices.”

“You need to make more time for me.” You scream. “Anyone would have abandoned you ages ago”

“If you’ve been gone for as long as you did. Is several hours with me too much to ask?”

“Answer me, you ignorant, pathetic excuse of a child!!! Grow up!!!”

I couldn’t with you leeching off of my aura.

You made it seem like the world hates me now.

So I packed up my things, spread my wings, and flew off into the rain.

It doesn’t matter how badly you are suffering yourself

If the prospect that I need to take care of myself too slips your mind.


I never asked you to help me.

You did so at your own volition.

If you didn’t want to in the first place,

You could’ve answered, “No thank you.”

We could’ve gone on with our lives either way.


But here you are.

You called me immature.

You called me a teen in an adult’s body.

You said I never bothered to do my share.


But my dear porcupine, have you taken a look at yourself?

Or better yet, look in a mirror?

You don’t see the newfound greed in your heart, but I do.

The scholars in my inner circles do.


Whose leg are you trying to pull?

My loved ones know exactly what you said.

They know how selfish you’ve been acting and what I could’ve done.

If you think no one can love me the way you did, you could not be more wrong.


I can admit when I am anyway.

You went to town on me like I didn’t know how to count.

And my only response to your passionate rave was goodbye.

In the blink of an eye, you disappeared from my mind. Your quills in my heart decomposed.

It was like you were just another customer that treats cashiers like their punching bags.


I wish you the best of luck with your own hardships.

And I hope your own wounds heal entirely.

But I am done with you.

I am done letting your vitriol take up space.

I am done listening to you disguise your resentment as facts.

I am done hating myself for what our love has come to.

My love for you was just practice for the next person.

Nothing more, nothing less.


Demeter was wise to tell me to stop getting involved.

Because I discovered that what you don’t know

Was how amazing it felt to give you up and do her work

Without a care in the world. After all, you don’t know me.