Coming Up Empty

"Lachrymae (Mary Lloyd)" by Frederic, Lord Leighton, oil on canvas, 1894-95

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I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel
the experience is new.
I suffered through years of acid rain,
but never felt this blue.

Tears come unexpectedly
with songs I often hear.
The man I loved, though far away,
still feels so very dear.

Within my heart and soul I find
a place for him I keep
wrapped safe in my subconscious
where longing lingers deep.

I shuffle through my routine days
an effort to move on
the way he has not missed a beat.
No tears . . . at peace . . . long gone.

My friends tell me to let him go,
pretend we never met;
and though my head accepts the truth,
my heart cannot forget.

It lies in wait. I’m helpless.
I’m shaken to the core.
My heart, you see, despite past pain,
was never broken before.

So, if you think to say I’m wrong
to pine for something unreal,
understand this is a first for me,
and I don’t know how else to feel.

Copyright © 2002 Patricia Petro • All rights reserved.
Painting: “Lachrymae (Mary Lloyd)” by Frederic, Lord Leighton, oil on canvas, 1894-95, Metropolitan Museum of Art.