When You Leave

When you leave
there will be empty
in my hands instead of the enough
filling my mouth I choked on;
spitting out sour words
instead of the sweet
I used to own.

When you leave
I will have an empty closet
to fill with clothing I don’t wear
and a bureau to ease the too much
overstuffing my drawers:
there will be space for me
to spread out, to stretch
I have forgotten.

When you leave
there will be silence,
first lonely and then the welcome kind
that falls over me easy
in the seconds before sleep.
I will sleep sideways
across the middle of this bed
and let the gray in my hair
grow in streaks like it wants to.

When you leave,
I will hold words
close you threatened me with:
I will be the witch, the crone
comfortable in her bones
who learns herb magic
under the new moon,
not to curse you
but fatten me from my long waning.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in New Free Verse and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to When You Leave

  1. annotating60 says:

    Susan, I can relate to this, muchly. That’s exactly how it works too if you let it. >KB

    • Hell, yes. I hate introspective poetic wound-licking when I do it, but it is much easier to write about this than it is that same relationship when one is sandwiched in complacency. Why is it that poetry thrives on angst–both the saudade of new love and the angst of it when it does go bad?

      • annotating60 says:

        It’s because you feel it so strongly and it is hard to cope with those kinds of emotion either positive or negative. It tempers the sould and is a repository for the angst . The trick is to keep your standards no matter what. Writing helped me get through it. What I wrote was full of pain but it was still poetry at a certain level of good work. Just the same I’m glad it’s over. I still have a handful of poems to post to be finally done with it. >KB

  2. Gina says:

    This poem beautifully expresses such a sad feeling. I love the first few lines “When you leave
    there will be empty in my hands instead of the enough.”

  3. Trent Lewin says:

    The last stanza hooked me. Dear witch. Come dance with us.

      • Trent Lewin says:

        We have a spot in a field where there are monastic ruins, and on the ridge above there is a wall of bricks that are 5000 years old. If you look out from the ridge over the country, you can see how the creators tried to leave a pattern, but it is hard to imagine what they were getting at precisely. You could sit there all day. It’s in Rennes, France, and it is the type of place where you feel compelled to go out at night into the fields, and while you never exactly feel safe doing it, nothing bad ever seems to happen there.

  4. jmgoyder says:

    This is so powerful.

  5. Rhonda says:

    Oh SFAM…yes. And yes. xoxo

  6. Dick Jones says:

    Revenge is a dish best served cold. This poem captures cold, measured reflection on a dysfunctional relationship perfectly. An excellent example of the poem as a means whereby to contemplate emotiin at a distance.

    • That’s one way to read it. I see it as less vengeful and more an honest assessment, but everyone reads/reacts to a poem differently. Thanks for sharing your read here. I do believe distance encourages clarity.

  7. Somehow, there is sadness in me as i read this. So end-of-the-road. (sigh). Anyway, it’s been a while since you came visiting. I miss your words on my blog. 🙂

  8. jomul7 says:

    there’s simmering anger to this poem, the kind that waits for that extra drop to explode…

  9. BroadBlogs says:

    Wow. So beautifully rendered.

    Thank you so much for your poetry.

  10. I felt you’ve been crowded and cornered, enslaved by this entity that’s uncaring to your living breathing right ~ Peace be your gift, Debbie

  11. claudia says:

    oh wow susan – this is so powerful – it’s tough – but def. sounds like you can make it through the rain…

  12. nelle says:

    Another good one. Some fear separations, others can see the positives. I like positives.

  13. wow!!! this is a perfect poem…

    “spitting out sour words
    instead of the sweet
    I used to own.”


    The sweet words of someone from before tasted sweeter.
    Now, its sour and all left for it to spit out and let it devour.

    Nicely written poem.

    P.S i posted a poem yesterday if you want to check it out.

  14. Oh, you are divine. If I could sit at your feet and watch you mix herbs and sing curses…

Comments are closed.