Poetry and freedom

Don’t go

Please don’t leave again

Every time if feels like my heart will bleed to death

Or I will cease to be

It’s not the same

It’s not the same without you here

Birds don’t sing

Music don’t play

And I can’t breathe

Until you come home.

As I sat on our bed watching my husband fold his clothes, laying them in his suitcase for his trip to Poland, I wrote this poem in about 30 seconds. Poetry professors probably detected that pretty quickly, as it’s a bit gushy.

But I said the heck with it, I’m going to express what I feel about this event. I’m not going to act as if sending the love of my life off in a jet across the ocean for 7 days doesn’t affect me emotionally. I’m going to miss him every single day.

And I know he misses me, too.  He doesn’t like being away from home, going on a 10+ hour flight with long layovers, sleeping in a lumpy hotel bed, and eating in restaurants every night.  So, I wrote an overly sentimental poem and he loved it.

A day or two after he left, I googled how to write good poetry and one of the rules is to not be overly sentimental and to use descriptive words. So, I rewrote the poem, not feeling as maudlin as before, but quite jocular in fact.

Don’t go…too far

The zipper on the suitcase closes

The wheels roll on the wood floor

Men hunt, but they also gather,

as you collect things before going out the door


The house is quiet

The kids flew like birds

It’s just me and an old dog

Sleepy and undisturbed


Without you, walks are quiet

Thoughts go unsaid

The fireplace is empty

And so is your side of the bed


The days precede your homecoming

I count them in my head

I want to share everything with you

But I can’t when you’re living in the shed.


I was just as surprised as you at how this poem ended. Is he so angry at me that he’s gone to live in our shed? We don’t actually have a shed because our HOA won’t allow it. I considered ending the poem with “Baghdad”  but I realized that I’m trying to rhyme with “head” and “dad” has the wrong sound and “shed” is a much better fit. It’s like resolving a chord; it’s so satisfying.

Part of living a life of freedom means being able to try new things and being true to yourself as you do it.  I’m putting my thoughts and feelings into poetry, just for myself, and I’m having so much fun with it. I’m able to showcase my personality which as you can see is just a little off sometimes.

Whether it’s poetry or painting, skydiving or sailing, cooking or calligraphy, try something new and fun, and just play!  It can bring us terrific joy and meaning.

To my sweet loved friends who are still living in the prison of abuse, I know how hard it is to feel free to do anything for yourself. My life wasn’t always like it is now. I used to be like you are, afraid to breathe without permission. But you are worthy of love, and you deserve this. Give yourself the room to be playful and try something new and fun.  I’m sending all my positive, loving, freedom vibes to you. You’ll get there.  Believe it; believe that you’ll get free.

Abuse is illegal and you are worthy of more than this. There is help for you.  Call the National Domestic Abuse hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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