A photograph

I’m taking a creative writing class and I had to write a poem for Tuesday. This is the final draft.

Still Shot

The mesmerizing stillness of a smiling photograph.
A bronzed, rugged cowboy atop his barely tamed horse paused on the edge of a cliff.
Turned back to smile for the camera.
A perfect shot.
A shot in the dark.
And he leaves just the haunting of his smile
atop his closed, lovingly polished, coffin.
But the smile I want to resurrect
is before he turned his back.
Before the laughter slid into silence.
Before his merciless demons chained
him to only one hope of escape.
This man of wild epiphany’s and chaos, encased in a perfect façade,
Who saved me from here, the home I had known so far,
and then left
demanding my life be worthy of more than he was becoming.
I could not hold his horse away from the edge.
Fleeting moments and choices made sear the beginning and end together
And only fragments in-between remain.
And nothing can ever change the time that was.
Choices cannot be re-made.
Memory cannot be trusted.
We can never go back to before.
His smile will remain unchained in the merciful coffin of his inevitable choice.
I will remain
looking on from here.
Living the life he gave me by living at all,
and leaving.
This isn’t really a post for mothers. It’s a post because I was a woman before I became a mother and something happened that reminded me that maybe I’m still a woman. Just not the woman I was. Thank God.
Not everyone marries their high school sweetheart. I didn’t. Thank God. Some of us came close to marrying dozens of handsome (and not-so-handsome, but funny) men. I did not marry my high school sweetheart. I came close to marrying several other girls’ high school sweethearts though. And I thoroughly relished the process. I am a very good flirt. Something my husband reminded me of on Saturday night…I have never considered that I actually flirt – I just like to have fun. Men are a little more fun than women.
While my husband is the bravest, funniest, cutest, best one of them all, there was one who held my heart deeply in his embrace for 10 years before my brave, funny, cute, best one showed up and he was the best flirt of all time. He was the most charming person on earth when he was in an upswing. He was devastating to know when he wasn’t. A bi-polar man trying not to combust his entire life. He was only biding his time here until he could get to heaven. My mother pointed out “He held on as long as could.” He was in his sixties when he gave up waiting for heaven 2 years ago and took a short cut.
He and his family were the first people who showed me I was lovable and it changed the way I viewed the world for the rest of my life. I’m grateful to remember the woman I was and relieved I’m the woman I’ve become.Very.
It’s haunting how you don’t think of someone for years and then early one morning you get a phone call that says their gone and immediately you remember them….as the flirt they were…at first.