Poetry

Optimism

“You left once. So even if you tried
to come back, I wouldn’t trust that you’d stay.”

Maybe you only see yourself and leech love from other people until you leave them behind as empty husks with their hearts ripped from their chests. Or maybe you don’t realize the light you cast into this world. How you can light up someone’s life and the way you make them feel when you are around. And then the moment you leave, nothing is the same. The world is a little darker, that feeling of warmth and joy turns to cool numbness. I’d like to hope for the latter, but I’ve been wrong before. But now, it doesn’t matter. You left once. So even if you tried to come back, I wouldn’t trust that you’d stay.

© Sarah Doughty

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7 thoughts on “Optimism”

  1. Not to trivialize, since you have an effortless way of incorporating common themes into common experiences relatable to your audience, but I admit your style of writing has a familiarity that echoes works and plots I’ve already read (in the vein of high-quality fanfiction). There’s nothing particularly new or experimental about these works; nevertheless, they seem to evoke genuine emotion from your readers. Your voice doesn’t come across as hokey, or forced, despite the fact that it’s not completely indistinguishable from other voices in the genre (other than the posting format — ‘Heartstring Eulogies’ is an apt title for what you offer).

    Regarding this particular poem: I’d wager countless souls have experienced the type of mistrust by the shaky hands of love (and lack thereof). I like the expression “cool numbness.” Selfishness, fear, insensitivity, instability and/or incompatibility are some of the factors that can lead to situations like the one illustrated here. It will depend on the reader’s personal experience how they might interpret the speaker’s thoughts (for example, I take the title sarcastically, others might take it literally). and how they might relate to the speaker (conversely, how they might identify with the object of the speaker’s musings).

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  2. Not in all cases, but in some–leaving is best… Then upon returning, the one who left is stronger, better suited for love, and can be a whole new kind of person. Not in all, but in some. I love this, Sarah.

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