This poem/short story was inspired by a writing challenge I attempted last summer. The assignment was to create a story based on this image of a woman strolling on a beach. It struck an emotional chord for me…
“I’m leaving today,” she muttered soberly
to no one listening.
She did leave…she left him and
took nothing with her from that life –
Useless, this shell of a powerless man
watched her go.
In beauty, yet almost ghostly,
with an unknown purpose –
She moves with no destination
in sight or mind – a stroll, sans agenda.
Graceful is her fragile form, but scars
embedded are invisible and she bleeds –
Bittersweet, pain felt in solitary strides –
Bare feet tremble, yet still they carry her
atop foam kissed sand as the sun dips
behind a cliff, begs the tide to move in.
Her cadence, breath begins to
quicken, her chest tight with panic, yet
refuses to pause in fear – it’s time – NOW!
Now it’s HER time to run…from him –
She dare not turn her gaze,
not one more glance allowed
towards him – the one who’d lied
the one who had kept her heart and
soul locked away – used as a toy
oblivious to her existence.
Blinded by salty tears, she smiles –
Terrified of this beautiful journey
a destination still unknown
she remains steady, eyes hungry
for a new horizon.
Expressionless, he watched her fade –
Without a single look back she
begins the last stretch – leaving
the beach, the cliffs, everything…forever.