Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Marking a moment


You're gone.

You did tell me,
right from the beginning
of that last conversation
that lasted several weeks,
you were about to die and
you wanted to make amends
to me
before you did
for the insanity of our teenage years
and that last, soul-destroying betrayal.

I thought you meant that you had a
condition, injury, or disease that was
impacting your quality of life,
possibly terminally.

in the very last contact,
you told me
you were committing suicide.

I thought you were playing the
same old games, the tiresome manipulations
because you were not getting what you wanted

I stopped the contact.

And then a few weeks later...
the obituary

No guilt but a quiet thoughtfulness.
What karmic significance was entangled
in our brief contact, your death, and
the craziness that was last weekend?

The scales are balanced again
though I did not know they were
out of balance.

You did. You told me. I thought.

Written for Poets United Midweek Motif, "Watershed Moments", 9/2/15


  1. Definitely do not feel guilt over this one.
    Its not fair and its one last emotional jab when people try to blame their own choices on others. This ticks me off more than anything.

  2. Ouch. Excellent poem. I relate in an odd odd way to this story because of a friend who long ago used me this way in a decision to have a pet put to death. Not that we talked about it, but I saw him a lot that week. I wonder if I had known, if I could have helped, but know better. The quiet thoughtfulness feels like prayer that we each find what we need and that it is love.

  3. Oh I applaud you for writing the deep stuff, with such insight and strength. Yes, do not feel guilt. I love what Susan writes about the deep thoughtfulness being like a prayer - that we find the love we need. I love, when a poet writes a poem like this, how it makes us look inward, and deeper than we otherwise might. It is a good thing. Thank you for this poem. I have weathered a suicide myself, so I know some of what the aftermath feels like. Your "quiet thoughtfulness" strikes me as a very wise response.

  4. Oh this is a strong poem, a gut-level, honest watershed poem that leaves me feeling the reality.... I agree with X. No guilt over this. The person was determined, and it is not your fault. I am glad your scales are balanced now, but still it is so, so hard!

  5. Thank you for the depth of these thoughts. Suicide leaves such a mix of feelings. Definitely you are not to blame. I hope you find healing through this knowledge.

  6. It is not a question of is the inability because we are not God to help a person who is bent on self destruction. It's the sadness of it all.

  7. "No guilt but a quiet thoughtfulness."...the best response from a situation like that...a very well knit poem with restrained emotion...nice work...

  8. Interesting that the hurt from years ago should still be a motive to hurt the other at the expense of oneself. The relationship appears to have been doomed in any case.

  9. A wonderful poem. Nice that the last contact was, obviously, kindly meant.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Ah...but much of my writing is autobiographical. And I don't care what others think - I write for me. But it is very interesting to read people's responses. Thanks!

  11. Ouch on so many levels--I get this one on so many levels. I wish I didn't but life isn't always nice--

  12. There is something that will be there long after that final choice for those who knew them.


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