Birds That Once Flew

“I think it’s important to realize you can miss something without wanting it back.”

Reading this quote struck a chord in me.  It reminded me of a love I once had, a love that forms an irreplaceable part of my foundation and identity.  It was beautiful, deep and natural, full of laughter and ease.  Seven years, he was my husband, my best friend, my confidante, my roommate, my drinking buddy, my puppy’s daddy.

We were, however, two very different people with very different perspectives on life.  It’s challenging to distill the severing of a deep connection into something tangible, as something sacred seems to get lost in the process.  But not learning the lessons that heartbreak provides runs the risk of the torment being all in vain.

As tumultuous as these times may have been, I hold them dear, and often commemorate them with nostalgic words such as these…

If only you had loved yourself as much as you loved me. 

We’d be in Thailand right now.  Me sipping coconuts, and you, submerged under the sea.

Instead you gave up on your passion in life
Except for one thing, on having me as your wife.
It’s far too much pressure for anyone to bear,
Being the object of one’s possession, when for the rest you don’t care.

I was that bird they talk about in the songs.
The one you held onto, to keep me you longed.
Lovingly so, still clenched in your fist
You could never unravel why I’d resist.

You had fallen in love as an innocent boy
With a bird you knew was your messenger of joy.
I flew high and loud, almost too quick for your eye
And for many years passing was that night’s goodbye.

I came back in the summer, as hummingbirds do
Only this time I was different, if only you knew.
Wounded and tired, now a terrified fledgling
I huddled for safety under your powerful wing.

You nurtured and nourished, you loved and protected
The air of an eagle you smartly projected.
As I healed in your presence I asked if we could fly
Only to find that you couldn’t, and didn’t care why.

Your wings had been clipped, you forgot how to soar
Your freedom was stolen, you were a bird no more.

By then I was trapped in our small little cage
That joy so suppressed became frustration and rage
My job was to nurture, nourish and love
Instead I looked down at you from above.

Your giant wings broken, in need of rest
Were now closed so tightly around your own chest
I found a crack in the cage, I asked you to try
One more free fall, or else it’s goodbye

Your wings never caught you on your way down
Still you managed to guide me on my way out of town
An eagle you were, though you may not have known
Your wings can still fly, but you must learn on your own.


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