It was frightening… the way she craved
the loneliness of the dark – the way she insisted
upon going alone when others would gladly go along.
We use to think it was a hero
thing to do – to be strong and stand alone;
Eventually we realized it was more… frightening
for her if we were there groping her existence.
It sounds odd, but it was apparent… the more time
fluttered by the more she needed the loneliness of the dark
which was why, when she was with others… they were dark.
The coldness of the mid-summer day sun
made her shiver and long for nightfall… a concept
we couldn’t quite grasp.
She was most lonely when we were there
and most free when we were not.
She was extraordinary in hiding her loneliness
when she thought we were looking –
she just didn’t always notice when we were looking.
Days became weeks – weeks became months; years
drove past like neon signs seen from a high speed train.
Clarity of her future loneliness was seen in her pupils,
dilating from morning to night – nothing changing –
except the calendar which told of her
increasing age; her ever perpetual doom.
The thing about loneliness is it deceives itself
staring hard at those who feel it the most; often missing
the thing that lurks at its back, waiting for an opening.
That thing snuck up on her loneliness one evening –
blew it away like dandelion puffs on a windy spring day.
We thought we were the thing
to change her life, but we were wrong.
The real thing was her awakened knowledge of life – even her
desire to remain in the dark could not win against knowing…
against feeling – against existing.
It was life that woke her… it was desire that slapped
her into the light… and we were there waiting.
September 27, 2006