The One I Spared


Courtesy of Georgia O’Keeffe

Hidden, coiled into itself,
reminding me of how
you disappear whenever I
get close to you.
You trap yourself,
closed off from the world
closed off from me.

Somehow, the wall you
built for me is not my Jericho.
I break through it every time.
You stand on unsure footing
knowing that you are safe
yet still full of fear.

I could not hurt you
if I tried.
You know this,
begging me to keep my word.
I do.

Calmly, you turn to me,
whisper into my listening ear
and say,
“I need you now more
than I ever did before. Promise me
you will stay.”

I never met a promise I
could not keep and
for you, this remains true.