Tattered Conversations

Tattered Conversations

“There isn’t much left to say.

Maybe because

there isn’t much left

to give.”


I struggle to hear such a quiet voice,

quieter even than the breeze

between the bare branches

of our old oak trees.


You remember, don’t you,

how we met?

How startled you were

to see a wide-eyed child

plummet

seemingly out of thin air

from that green-cloaked tree

to the unforgiving ground?


Do you remember

how you laughed,

under your breath and

despite yourself

as you helped a battered boy

to his feet?

How humiliated

I must have looked

to let someone

like you

see me fail?


But now those bright eyes have gone

hollow, and those slender lips

refuse

to smile for anyone

at all.


You left us all behind

to fight a war of your own design.


Well, that’s what you would like us to believe,

but a soldier without a weapon or shield

is as good as a sheep

at the slaughter.


Let’s be honest:

you never intended to fight.


You left us all behind

to give yourself away.


To relinquish

every

last

drop

of your soul

to a deity

whose name

only you know.


But you never expected it

to hurt.


Giving up

was never supposed

to eat away

at what little bit of a soul

was left.


You showed me

that time waits for no man,

that fate is something

man-made

and that courage

is something children have

before they learn

to fear the dark.


You always told us

that life was tough

so we had to be tougher,

and that good things came

to those who went out

and earned them.


You were always there,

for all of us,

to see to it that we ran

when we could walk

and soared

when we could sail.


So tell me:

who will help you

now that your wings

have rotted?


You gave up

everything

expecting nothing

in return.


There is one lesson

that I will always carry

in my heart.


“‘I’m fine,’

is the sound souls make

when they are too numb

to beg

‘Save me’.”