Worth The Wait

Cold, empty, winter days
In a house bought for two
She silently, patiently waits
Marking time with her pain

Immaculate in his absence
She makes a home for one
Whilst a smiling bride and groom
Watch her pitifully from the wall

In pursuit of a life-long Antarctic dream;
Summers with scientists beside icebergs
He pleadingly requests her blessing
Whilst sliding her easily into the cold

A trick question, a trip-wire, a trap
She ponders a choice; without choice
With only one true sacrifice; hers
As he already turns his back to leave

Alone; her love as solid as concrete
A pillar of support in the face of onlookers
Her conversation only justification
On behalf of the man who abandoned her

She sits warming herself in cosy denial
Day-dreaming of their postponed future
Plans for two, masterminded by one
The balance of equality toppling slowly

Pushing her forgotten needs into wasteland
She is deliberate in not noticing
The sorrowful elephant in the corner
That is her now part-time marriage

Two years, two months and two days;
The time it takes for her to acknowledge
The ocean of misery in which she now swims
Finally welcoming the current that takes her under

Unknowingly entering last chance saloon
He returns to her, his only gifts;
Carefully-wrapped indifference
And a magnum of bitter tastes

Summer spent in a warmer climate
Sees only uncomfortable, record lows
Three months of desperate floundering
In a relationship now dead in icy waters

Beaten; she packs her smallest belongings
Taking lightweight treasures of a decade;
Symbols of a future once promised
Now reneged, swiftly and clinically

She drives a hired vehicle alone;
Her life neatly boxed inside
To a strange city and a fresh start
As a number; devoid of history

Leaving behind furniture lovingly restored
Whilst a nameless, faceless other, calmly places
Her toothbrush and perfume in a cupboard
Stained only days before by teak oil and a wife’s tears

Promises to collect the last of her things
Are deemed unnecessary by his generosity;
Giving away to others the last evidence of her
Erasing her in seconds, no trace to remain

She scours unknown streets in need of a home
In reality, wanting only a warm bed
In which she can sleep, hoping never to awake
Having given her last; no more to spend

Bags unpacked; she stands in tourist central
Excited sightseers of the world unite
To marvel at the history and vibrancy
Invisible amongst them; she quietly dies inside

4 thoughts on “Worth The Wait

  1. I really liked this, though it was one person’s small sad story. I liked how the rhythm was constant and quite calm, not speeding up or pausing. A bit like time passing for the woman. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Thank you, Calum. It was always going to be a bit tricky resurrecting this one. But there’s something about it that I love. When I wrote it, life was very lonely. These days, it really isn’t. But I sometimes miss the simplicity of being alone.

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