You, who mastered the art of indifference,
the ability to deny the existence of love.
Though you stole my love,
only to scatter it into that black sand desert
of your soul. It was there I wandered,
with nowhere to hide,
but everywhere to be hidden away.
It was your dark place, not mine.
Occasionally, I crept from behind your eyes,
tripping over moments of kindness I failed to see.
Then, I walked slowly, over thin ice,
looking for something below its surface,
seeing only my own reflection,
listening for the cry of a child pretending to be me.
Strangely, it was a safe place to be.
To return to the inside of your mental breakdown,
where no one could find me, wearing a smile,
in case somebody did.
To never grow past a winter’s night, where fear
was the possibility of a different tomorrow,
where you carried an ungrateful child on your back.
And in your final sleep, I held onto your hands,
they were cold as the ice on which I walked.
There was no reflection, only love’s dark place,
but doors were beginning to open. I did grieve,
contradicting questions unanswered,
backtracking my thoughts to moments of kindness
I failed to see.
Rowland Hughes ©