Happy for Her

~ for S.L. ~

The other day, in the wee hours
While I couldn’t sleep
A pencil sketch – long
and tenderly held, within my heart –
Fading, yet never doomed to oblivion
Emerged from my nimble fingertips

It was of her and me, aged five and seven
Carefree and innocent
Walking together along the edge of
An iridescent pond that
Beckoned us to
Dip our little toes in it
For the very first time

(which we did, by the way..
very briefly, very slightly…
such a sublime feeling!…
at least, for me it was)

This little pencil sketch
That had been living, silently
Within my heart
And between my ears
For many, many years

Later that morning I emailed it to her, wondering…

Who she might have blossomed into
Over the forty-seven summers since
I’d felt her tender little hand in mine
What she did to stir her passions
Where she might go for smiles and laughter
When she might see my little sketch
How she might react to it
And why I was even reaching out
To her in the first place

Wondering if
My words would even find her, and
Wondering whether
She’d even write me back

Much to my delight
a letter soon arrived in my mailbox

“OMG…WOW… I’m in shock!!!
So great to hear from you…
What an amazing memory you have…
I love your sketch…
I live in a townhouse in Manhattan
With my second husband…”

And then, briefly but palpably,
Those last four words lodged,
Like prickly little arrows, into
Tiny Piece (aka a corner of my heart)
As she carried on:

“…and dogs… no children
I hope this means
we can stay in touch…”
you can reach me at
(123) 456-7890…”

But Tiny Piece, wounded,
Brooded and sulked just a little,
Caught up on
“with my second husband”

Then after nary a beat
The rest of my heart
Turned towards the sulking Piece, saying
“How selfish and unrealistic of you!
Whatever were you thinking?
Man up, be happy for her,
Celebrate her marriage
And especially, be happy
For her lucky husband!”

After which Tiny Piece –
briefly but powerfully chastised –
Realized its immaturity
Put aside its selfish yearning
And rejoined the rest of my heart

While I reached for my pen and paper

~ Paul Raworth Bennett

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