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Empty Towns

I'm moving on, I'm growing up...there's nothing left for you

You had your chance, I held my breath...there's nothing left to say

I gave my heart, you gave it back...there's nothing left to give

You said, "let's be friends", I told you "not today"...there's nothing in this friendship

I must leave, you can't follow...there's nothing in this town

Nothing, no friends, no love, no emotion, just and empty shell

I must leave, you must stay...there's nothing you can say

To keep me here, bound by empty friendship, empty lies

I'm growing up, I'm moving on...there's nothing left for you to try

Nothing you can say to stop my life from leaving you

Here in this empty shell that is your town

A town that you can't leave

A town that disappears

A town that no longer holds me

And I must leave, and you must stay

I am leaving; you are staying

Forever I will be away from here, this empty town, this empty friendship...this empty life

I've moved on, I've grown up

Shed a tear, say a prayer...I won't care


Some Commentary

Surprise! This, you may have noted, with no red in sight, is not from my high school poetry book. You got me. But this is from my high school era (though the art is college era), so please forgive this digression. You know how Facebook shows you memories from that day a year or more ago? Well, this gem was brought to my attention this last week while I was checking out some of my memories. It really struck a chord for me.

This poem, I do remember quite clearly, I wrote about transitions. Life has thrown me many, over the years. My parents divorcing, my dad leaving, moving from my home town, going to college across the country (feeling totally alone), friendships gained and lost...A good portion of which I was finally starting to sift through late high school and early college.

When I was about 13 we moved away from the only home I'd ever known...and I was happy, excited even. I wouldn't have been, but the friends I thought I had turned out to be the kind of terrible where they tolerate but secretly judge you behind your back. I don't have the best sense of timeline, though I know it wasn't too long before we relocated that it happened. I was informed that I was the laughing stock (at least, that's how my brain interpreted it) of the girlfriends I'd been hanging out with. I always felt like I was that strange, awkward, and/or weird kid that somehow ended up with the cool kids; someone would eventually discover me and the jig would be up...this was that moment. I couldn't wait to get out of Dodge.

I have had some smaller but similar experiences since, but that one was my first. It really hurt, the deep kind of hurt that never truly goes away. When I wrote the poem it helped me work through my locked up feelings and put some of it to rest. Looking at it now I can fit some other experiences into the words.

I was inspired to dig out the rest of my old poetry...and wow, most of it is so depressing...or angsty. I even wrote something addressing that. Basically saying, yeah, my poetry is depressing, but I promise I'm not! It's been quite cathartic to read through it all, some cringing, sure, but it was a time when I was expressing myself better than I have in the years since. It's inspiring me to keep going. Maybe not writing poetry but writing this blog and keeping the creativity going somehow, some way.

We are all in a transition (of sorts); we have no idea what's going to happen or where we are going to be after it's all said and done. Unfortunately, we cannot leave or necessarily change our current circumstances, but we can get through this. This, too, shall pass. It may not be pretty, fun, or easy, but, hopefully, we can come together (remotely) and make it through having learned about ourselves and others. No need for big, mind-blowing changes, just taking the time to step back, reassess, and breathe.


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