Letting go

Shoulder to shoulder
in the field of straw
in the middle of the rain
I burn the wrist band
– our funny little symbol
that you laughed I should
carry around as
a romantic memory
of our first ever argument:
each of us hovering
on opposite sides
of different needs
as loud flashing lights
of an electrifying concert
blur our vision.

I remember wanting to control;
I remember feeling controlled.
I remember back now and laugh
– how absurd it all seems
to want to control love,
how it would have turned out
so much easier
if I had only been
strong enough
to trust.

And yet here I am
ME holding this little wrist band
ME lighting it
in an idea I have had.

You watch me
as I hold ceremony
and then scream
– not hysterical
more a muffled shock –
as the toxic band
spits onto my finger
and sticks as it burns.

‘I’ll take over…’
you say gently
and through the pain
I agree
and realise
this is not just me
and my own toxicity
but us, and you and yours
and this growing thing
between us
that we want
to be healthy and strong.

When the toxic band
gets too small
for fingers and fire
you drop it to the grass
where in the middle of the
wind and rain
I worry it will not all burn
and we will be doomed forever

and yet,
despite the downpour,
it burns on
and on
and on…

We stand amazed,
two little flames now
on each side
burning through
what is no longer needed,
until nothing is left –
at all…


And I realise
in that deep stillness
of the aftermath
I could have dropped it all
a long time ago
without anything
getting in the way
like arguments
and burnt fingers
or residual pain.

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