2020

I would prize Wildwood Kin, from your little sweaty palms,
I would eat more healthily,
I would dance more often,
and refuse to let you talk over me.

I would shake my former self
look her straight into the eyes
and say, is this what you think you’ve been searching for
all your goddamn life?

I would remove those tinted glasses
and see you for what you are,
an emotionally-stunted man-child
who just happens to play guitar.

I’d take you off your pedestal,
where you’d comfortably made your nest.
I’d tell you truths like, I’m not sure I want to have biological children
and bathe in the disgust your face expressed.

I’d stop hiding my truth to please you,
unafraid of causing upset
confidently proclaim my moral views
and calmly watch you sweat.

I’d grab my former self,
lace up my running shoes,
take her by the hand
and run far away from you.

fairweather

Your not texting back,
was a stab to the heart.
But you were drinking cold liquor, with new friends
so you didn’t see that part.
You were already planning how our story would end.

In our story, from my side, we had endless pages.
But I guess you were just filling in the blanks,
until you thought you could escape this
and it came as a suckerpunch when I realised you’d pulled a Shawshank.

Too cowardly to tell me the truth,
that you lied when you said we had the rest of our lives together.
You kept me, like Dogtooth,
hidden from reality.
You were nothing more than a boyfriend for fairweather.

And when the storms rolled in,
and the thunderclaps boomed,
things headed the way they’d always been,
and you ran scared into the other room.

Away from my crying eyes
and into the arms of another.
Out of sight, out of mind,
safely beneath the skin of a different woman to hide under.

Someone sweeter,
someone breezier,
someone who wouldn’t call you a cheater.
A fairweather girlfriend,
and altogether
easier.

truths i should’ve listened to

All pain is temporary.
Always trust your gut instincts.
Actions speak louder than words,
pay attention to what they do rather than what they say they’ll do.

Healing isn’t linear, and that’s ok.
Time gives you metaphorical distance, but your brain is a brilliant time traveler.
Help is the bravest thing you can ever say.
And asking for it doesn’t make you weak.

Dancing is good for the soul; do it often and spontaneously.
Invest time in those who you know will invest the time back.
Know where your limits are, and be gentle with yourself.

You always have the right to say no, and be heard.

Everything will seem different in the morning.
And
I love you.

lies i was told

Just a sharp scratch.
He didn’t cheat on you.
No, he really didn’t.
I won’t do it again, I promise.

It will hurt less over time.
Time heals everything.
We’ll spend the rest of our lives together.
And I’ll look after you tonight.

I’ll only have one drink.
Of course I’d never do anything to hurt you.
You’re my whole world.
I can’t imagine life without you.

This is the hardest bit, right now.
Crying will make you feel better.
And
it gets easier as you get older.
And
I love you.

“She burns bridges”

Apparently, I burn bridges
or maybe it was a wayward spark,
from you burning our candle at both ends.
It wouldn’t have taken much, to raze the dilapidated, crumbling scaffolding.
Not the once strong, steady, immovable Pont du Gard.

A bridge is no longer of use, when the destination is a person you no longer recognise.
A faceless friend,
a stranger in a crowd,
an unhappy hostage.

So maybe burning it was my only option.
Save up what little was left of my sanity; cut and run.
You say I no longer light up your sky,
but maybe my light was never yours to possess and claim as your own.
Maybe what burnt that bridge, was a flicker of my fire you could no longer control.

Well, I gathered up all the remaining timber,
anything I could salvage from the blaze,
and I built myself a fucking ladder
to pull myself out of the twisted ravine you left me in.

And now I’m up high, on a cliff top
and the view and the air is clear,
and now it all makes sense.

red flags

You always said you’d eventually learn how to dance with me, but you always had an excuse. You just didn’t care for the things I was passionate about. Red flag number 10.

You never cared for, or tried to understand, my love of Taylor Swift. I know that might sound petty. But it was important to me, and you openly mocked it. Red flag number 9.

You said you didn’t like tattoos, but you would make exceptions for my small ones. Well, now I have a big one. So fuck you. Red flag number 8.

We had similar tastes in music, but only when it came to folk and country. Anything else and I felt I had to filter my music choice around you. Because it was “too mainstream”. You always took the high ground when it came to music. Red flag number 7.

Your political views were the right ones, and no amount of debating would tell you otherwise. You took the high horse there too. Red flag number 6.

I was terrified of doing my pre-flight injections by myself, so I offered to pay for your megabus and the additional cost of the flight, for you to fly from Heathrow with me. To support me. But you outright refused. Red flag number 5.

You could never have a healthy disagreement. You’d bury your head in the sand at the first sign of conflict. Sweep it under the carpet. Until it blew up in our faces. Red flag number 4.

You made empty promises. The main one being that you’d always support me, no matter what. Red flag number 3.

One night, after weeks of my mental health rapidly declining, you said you’d rather go out and get drunk with another girl than come home to me. Red flag number 2.

You cheated on your girlfriend of four years to be with me.

Red flag number 1.

last november / behind a lens

Last November, I would walk down the beach
and populate my instagram with beautiful pictures of the sunsets,
all whilst crying, behind the lens.
You saw sunsets,
I saw a blur of oranges and pinks through tear-stained eyes

I would walk the beach, and mourn for what I’d lost.
My relationship, my friends, my career, my life that I knew.
I would watch the waves and sob behind unnecessary sunglasses.
My life had been up-ended in a way I never wanted to admit.

But the beach was my safe place, to cry.

I’ve just been for another walk down the beach,
a year and a bit on,
and took almost identical sunset photos for my instagram.
But I wasn’t crying behind the lens this time.

Instead, I sent you a voice note,
and over the washing of the waves and the calling of the seagulls,
I told you,
I can’t wait to bring you here and to watch the sunset together,
and maybe I’ll make you dance with me on the sand.

The beach is a pilgrimage for me; a checkpoint.
A chance to take stock, to literally bring things home.
This year, I take stock
and I’m happy with my lot ❤

home

It’s mad
that it’s not even been 365 days yet
and yet
you feel like home.

And not like “four walls and a roof over my head” home
like a place deep within my soul feels like it belongs again
and I don’t feel so alone anymore.

You’re a warm cup of tea to my cold hands in winter,
You’re an extra blanket thawing the still frozen parts of me,
You’re the first sip of a cold beer on a hot summer’s day; refreshing and reminiscent all at once.

You’re an old book, with turned down pages to mark favourite spots,
Your body is poetry that I know line by line, off by heart.
You’re the last satisfying piece of a jigsaw puzzle; completing the picture.

No, I don’t want to say I was half a person before I met you,
because I like to believe we are born complete.
But you certainly made me realise I was living a half-life before you,
but unaware of it.

You think you’ve experienced love before,
you think you know what that word means,
but then someone comes along and
completely rewrites the whole script.

For me, that person is you.

You are all things that are good in this world,
and I still don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this.

You are the coffee that wakes me up,
and the warm bath that winds me down,
and above all,
you are the call of the seagulls,
that finally remind me
I am coming home

to you.

Stay;

There will be plays you will see, poems you will read, sandwiches you will eat, new friends you will make, new dance moves you will learn. There will be hugs, and there will be kisses that stop time. There will be cups of tea on a balcony with a beautiful view of the sunset. There will be sunrises. There will be holding hands, running through the rain, sheltering under trees, and more kissing. There will be music you haven’t heard yet, that doesn’t even exist yet, that will move you to tears, or become your new favourite track to dance to. There will be weddings, your own included. There will be swimming in a clear blue sea. There will be cold, crisp glasses of New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, on hazy summers evenings. There will be dogs to pet. Films to laugh at. New mountains to climb. There will be warm cosy jumpers and mulled wine at Christmas. There will be a time you see your big sister again. There will be new books to read, that will take you on new adventures from the comfort of your bedroom. There will be more answers than questions. There will be poetry that flows out of you. There will be ceilidhs, and so much dancing. There will be gigs so incredible you lose your voice from screaming the words so loud. There will be new tunes to learn, and to pass on. There will be late nights you never want to end. There will be early morning runs that enrich your soul. There will be new songs to sing.
There will be a time when you no longer remember how bad it got.
Stay.

sorry?

i had to ask for it
i had to spell it out to you
because you’d forgotten, like you do
all the hell you put me through

i had to spell it out
this is what you did to me
and was i supposed to accept that gratefully?
and let you off, so deservedly?

what i lost when i lost you
was so much more than just a relationship
i was a sinking battleship
already losing my grip

no, you didn’t recognise the full impact
that final straw, turned to one almighty blow
i was freefalling, but imperceptibly slow
no parachute, or safety net, into the ground below

does it really count as an apology
if i had to ask for it first?
if you were coerced?
for everything you said sounded performative and rehearsed

you say you’ve changed now
that you don’t do that anymore
don’t go back on words you swore
and isn’t she lucky, the girl you now call yours?

well, i don’t accept your apology
but i’ll pretend i do with grace
i’d rather you’d left me unanswered
but i’ll let you save your face.