Remember When – A Poem

When I close my eyes,

I am pulled back

to another time.

I stand there,

looking at myself

as I was,

as I had been.

He lay in bed,

his eyes half closed,

sleep long gone  

but also not far behind.

He heard my approach

and he looked up at me.

I looked down at myself.

“I didn’t think you’d show.”

He said.

“I’m sorry. I forgot what day it was.”

I told him.

He looked at me and I could see into his eyes,

I could well remember the fear he felt,

could even taste it in the air.

A tear slid down his face.

I followed it as it fell from his eye

and slid down his face,

finding its way through his sideburns.

“You told me you wouldn’t forget again.”

I sit down beside him and take his hand

as I wish someone had done

all those years ago.

I wiped his brow,

trying to wipe away the fear

that filled every inch of myself then.

“I’m sorry.”

I said.

“You won’t believe me, but there are so many great things to come.”

I was not surprised

when tears began to slide

from my own eyes.

“You’re right.”

He said.

“I don’t believe you. I have no idea what’s wrong with me. I think it’s bad.”

He said, fear making his voice shake.

“You won’t believe me,”

 I said again,

“But it will get better. It will get worse before it does, though.”

I tried to instill some of the peace I felt,

tried to push it from myself into him,

but of course I couldn’t.

Even knowing what would come,

I couldn’t.

“I’m afraid.”

He said.

“You will have to be brave. You will have to be strong.”

I said to him.

“I don’t know how anymore.”

His voice had taken on a wistful quality.

“I have lost my way with words. I have lost everything.”

He said.

“Will they ever come back?”

I nodded vigorously,

trying to smile while more tears

slid from my eyes.

“Yes. They will come back.  Everything will and after a time, it will be better than it was before.”

“Do you promise?”

“I do. But you must promise me something.”

I said.

“What?”

I swallowed.

“There will come a time when the world around you will grow so dark that you can’t see out of the shadows. You will want to quit.”

I paused.

“Please don’t.”

I told him.

“It will get so much better.”

He nodded, giving me a weak smile.

“Okay, I promise.”

“Good,”

I said. I took his hand in mine again, squeezed it.

“It’s okay.”

He said.

“What is?”

His eyes opened and I looked down into my own gaze.

“It’s okay if you forget. I know I told you to remember me, but you can let me go, now.”

Tears slid from my eyes

and they sparkled like diamonds

in the half-light of the room.

From the realm outside of my eyes,

I can hear my husband calling to me,

telling me to wake.

“It’s okay,”

He says.

“It’s okay. You can go now.”

I stand and lean down.

I press my lips against his forehead.

“Thank you.”

I tell him.

“Thank you for not quitting. You have no idea how great it will be.”

As the light of the present day

begins to filter in to the past,

I look back once more and see him,

and there is the smallest of smiles

upon his lips.

When I open my eyes,

I let him go

and look out towards

what the future will

bring.

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