Today I will look my past in the face.

I will stare into his brown eyes
(because a woman’s past has always been and will always be
a man with eyes whose colors make her weak at the knees),
and I will utter the truths that I now believe.

I will tell him that I did find happiness.
And despite what he told me, it was not holding his hand.
Although that did make me happy,
once upon a time.

I will tell him that I found peace,
and it was not in his arms.
Although those same arms did hold peace for me,
once upon a time.

I will tell him that I found heartbreak.
And that it was waiting that night when I pressed end
on us and on the keypad of the phone.

I will tell him that I found strength.
And that it too was waiting
when I decided to get up off the floor of my own heartbreak
and wipe our sadness from my cheeks to cry no more.

I will tell him that I found that loneliness
could be a blessing.
And that it taught me to know myself better than I did with him,
to be more proud of myself than I was with him,
to believe in myself more than I did with him.

I will tell him that I found forgiveness.
That is was waiting when I took the lid off the box of his letters
and I read them one by one,
and I forgave myself and I forgave him
as each one sank back into it’s envelope.

I will tell him that I found understanding.
And though it was not in his eyes as he looked at me
(though I felt understood there,
once upon a time),
it was in the embellishments I made and placed
on a scrapbook page I created for him and I.

And I will tell him
that although I found these gifts in ways that I never thought I would,
in places where he was not with me as I believed he would be,
once upon a time,
that in some ways I would not have made it there without him.
Without him, without the happiness and peace and strength
of our once upon a time,
I would not have learned those truths.

And I will thank my past,
the brown-eyed man,
whose hands no longer hold mine,
whose arms no longer wrap me tight.
I will thank him for this meeting,
and for our every single
once upon a time.

-Jessi Sanders 2012

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2 thoughts on “Today I will look my past in the face.

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