Hope

It’s a strange thing, Hope.
You don’t choose it;
the stubborn belief in the radiant dawn
that follows the sightless night
so bitterly bleak and dark and empty…

Most consider it a blessing.

Mine plagues me like a festering sore
that resurrects unexpectedly,
deep and bright and painful
when I thought I’d killed it off last time… and the time before…

When I met you
I didn’t fall for you like a landslide,
I floated like an Autumn leaf
and didn’t realise
I was in love
until I saw where I’d fallen from
and knew I could never get back.

I was seventeen.
I thought I was grown up.
I wasn’t.

That night I rang you from America
and you didn’t want to talk
and you kept putting my friends on the phone
and then you said you’d kissed Kim –
my best friend Kim –
who suddenly wasn’t my friend anymore –
and I asked you if you wanted to be with her
and you said,
“If she’ll have me” –
that’s when I grew up.

I could say it took me years to get over you.
I do say it took years.
But I lie.
Because when I hear “Lovefool” from Romeo & Juliet
and when I drive past that park where I was late for your soccer game
and at night when it’s quiet
and when I see the brown latticed fence that still has our names etched in the paint
eleven years later
and when I watch the Autumn leaves fall

I hope.

Hope

Mieke Boynton

Broome, Australia

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Artist's Description

Featured in Touched By Fire – thank you. It is truly an honour.

Artwork Comments

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