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She seems cheery at the table, husband's arm around her
Swaddled in the structure of his family home
Joining in the prayers, helping light each candle
New year strikes and she returns the smiles
Emptiness tucked in the corners where they cannot see

Yet once everyone's rushed to bed
- Pedar's no longer young, and his mother worries -
She cannot help but return to the table alone
Her smile brighter, wider, twisting into a grimace
She cradles the Seeb to her chest and bawls without words

For the son she never met, the hand she never held
The way her mother-in-law joked about grand-kids
And her husband couldn't meet her eyes
For the sense of failure she knows she should not feel
For the prayers where she hoped for fertility and health

Once more, in private, in whispered sobs she begs
The vinegar for patience, the garlic to protect
The Senjed and the Sumac for her love to bear fruit
The sprouts for a rebirth to shed the guilt of death.
Wiping the tears from her cheeks, she climbs the stairs
Returning to her place in her husband's arms.
The suffering, as I stood there in the doorway,
Was like chainsaws churning up my insides,
My pith pulverized to pulp; my brain choked on the visions of the mind.
An ugly, clogging, knot in the throat
Is nothing as my eyesight is slashed and burnt to ashes.

For you were my sunlight in the forest:
The lucid green of the first slender snowdrop stem
And the proud green of the resonant oak with fingerprint bark.
My tree's heartwood was in your pores and my very meaning
Trickled down your phloem. You were my zenith

And my nadir too. The sun switched off
And played solely to the jealous moon.
This slow-rooting tree, solemn by the seasons
Was not light or bright or green enough for you.
So you stole my sap, and slipped it to another's lips.
With one chop, you felled me
Yet I did not feel it 'til after I twigged.
I write poetry like you do but I'm a spark to your bonfire
Look at pictures from your twenties as a future I desire
Stories people tell me are all the facts I know
Loving you is easy, but facing you's a blow.
Your compliments mean everything but I grow up so fast
Our connections keep on wavering, the gaps are getting vast
There are no promises to break, so all that's left's my heart
For you there's nothing but respect, yet fate ordains we walk apart.

— The End —