leaving

Poetry has always been something I’ve admired from the outside, but a few weeks ago I was feeling a sort of dramatic, poetic feeling… it’s hard to describe. Anyway, I wrote this poem about my experiences with post-secondary enrollment this semester, and felt like sharing it. 🙂

Why did you leave?
they ask me in the five minutes they see me—
me, a rare occasion, ringing up their sweaters—
but not something to bring up at dinner.

Why did you leave?
I know that my answer doesn’t matter,
that I am intriguing to them, an anomaly,
but the questions are so much more than small talk.

They point to the millions of dollars the taxpayers gave
for a stage I will never perform on
and they bring this up at a concert where I am not singing.
Why did I leave?

I smile and talk about adventure,
about trying something new and different—
different, and I wish I’d chosen another word—
a word that doesn’t stick so closely to me.

The brand-new building that they are so proud of
somehow still holds plenty of ghosts,
and when I listen closely,
I hear hearts that are not mine, that are not yet broken.

While they point to concrete things,
stable, sound, sharp clean lines, state of the art!
I stare at a building not built for me,
and each time I walk in, another whisper of nothing,

another whisper of
why did you leave?

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