Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This Is Not For You

This is not for you.

This is not for family, or friends, or writers.
These words are not advice, or wisdom, or to be critiqued in any way.
This is not proper punctuation, or grammar, or sentence structure.
This is expression, emotion, and raw reverie.

This is for an eighteen-year-old man,
driving too fast from a story he knows every side of.
Wishing tonight she’d finally choose love instead of lies.
With eyes like stars and a heart bigger than the moon,
who had no idea his midnight ride would be his last.

This is for a seventeen-year-old girl,
sitting beside a wrecked car on a dark winding road,
whispering I love you and promising it will all be okay.
With no idea she is holding a last chance in her arms,
who thirteen years later, is still waiting to say I’m sorry.

This is for a night that loops repeatedly through my mind.
With his mother’s tears forever falling upon the hospital floor,
while his big brother’s scream eternally echoes down a hallway.
Where thirteen years later, a part of my soul still stands in that ER,
begging him not to go.

This is because it is 10-14.
Every year on this day, I yearn to bake a birthday cake, find the perfect gift,
and attach it to 888 balloons,
so it will float up into Heaven,
and show him that I haven’t forgotten.
That I will never forget.

This is for him. And for me. And for them.

This is for anyone who knows this feeling.
Who is haunted by a number, a date, a song,
or a place and time you can’t reach.
Who incorrectly assumed there would always be tomorrow.
For those who talk to the stars, and pray an angel is listening.

This is for everyone who has ever loved, or lost.
Who has experienced the beauty of this world, or the ugliness.
Who understands the meaning of tragedy,
but hopes to be spared from it, again.
For those who brave the path of healing,
even when it seems an impossible journey.

This is for anyone living their story.
To anyone who believes in happily ever after, or fears a nevermore.

We are countless characters, with infinite backstories,
creating never-ending plots in this book called life.
We are the sum of our parts, our people, and our experiences.
Moments hidden away in almost forgotten pages,
and memories that never leave us,
fluttering like angel wings as the chapters of our life rapidly flip by.

This is not for you, or for him, or for me.
This is for each and every soul who has ever felt sorry, guilty, lost, afraid, abandoned, insecure, unsure, self-doubting, self-loathing, self-sacrificing, misguided, misunderstood, unknown, unseen, unheard, unkind, loved, hated, hurt, confused, or alone.

We are all in this together.
We all have a him, her, them, me, or us.
We all live with a mistake, a regret, a burden, a broken promise, or a shattered heart.
We are all living this life one page at a time,
and we all have a story to share.
This is for the stars, the moon, and the angels.

This is for all of us.


  1. Oh Thank you. It was for me... I have lost. God, how I have lost. But I still choose to want and to love... I still choose life. Hugs to you. Thank you.

  2. You is my hero, Karen. I'll be thinking of you today.

  3. Wow. Thank you so much. My Dad just passed away two months ago and today is his birthday. I woke up sort of fearing today and your poem has already helped. So thank you again. :)

  4. I sobbed while I read that. I'll be thinking about you today too.

  5. Loss is always with us. You gave it haunting, aching beauty.

  6. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your hear. This has touched me, perhaps more than you know.

  7. This is beautiful, Karen. Thank you.

  8. What beautiful words; the emotions bulged against the screen in their attempt to get out, and over here.

  9. All I can say is thank you for writing this. - G

  10. Wow. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing a piece of your pain in a way that we can all relate to!

  11. Very beautiful post! You are a gifted writer.

  12. Wow, this is beautiful. Enough said.

  13. So what if 20 people have already said this: That was really beautiful. Poignant and moving. Nice job.

    It would, by the way, make a great opening scene for a first-person flashback novel, too. Or a memoir. You know, if you ever get the hankering to set it all down on paper.

  14. Wow. That was some of the most emotionally stunning writing I've ever read. My daughter was diagnosed with Autism on March 8th and it's hard to make it through that day without guilt and pain. Thank you so much for writing this.


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