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What I missed: A Poem of Past Love and Regret


At the local store to pick up some things for the house, I noticed someone walking to the door. I pulled into a parking space, got out of my car, and picked up my pace. I walked in the door, turned left, turned right. He was no where, no where in sight!

I walked around a bit scanning the aisles for what was on my list. At the same time in my mind, I'm wondering where I've seen this man before. I walked over to the tomatoes and picked up two; walked over to the onions and picked up four, but one rolled on to the floor. As I went to pick it up, a man stopped it and picked it up for me. Eagerly rising to show my appreciation, I noticed it was him. He smiled at me and asked, "Don't I know you?" Embarrassed to answer, but I quickly recognized him and replied, "yes you do!" He was an old love of mine. One who took the time to know me beyond the outside. He was one who actually took interest in my mind.

Conversation instantly struck between us. We asked, "What have you been up to? How has your life been?" Our answers were synchronous, "working and sleeping." We paused for a few seconds and stared into each others eyes. Both of us with the look of why and what are you wondering? He quickly interrupted by gently saying, "you know I'm married now." My heart instantly skipped a beat. He knew that what he said had hurt me, but he didn't say it in revenge. His eyes were full of pity and deep down I knew that his heart was still with me.

I looked into his eyes with pain, disbelief, and regret. He looked back into my eyes, almost in tears, but the same stare he gave me when we first met. The stare was slightly different now, more distant than the beginning. I saw that he still loved me, but only as a fellow human being. I congratulated him, shaking his hand. I asked, "How many years?" And he replied, "Five years and two kids strong, a boy and a girl to be exact." We continued talking and now shopping. I picked up a plum, he picked up a snack. We completed our tasks in the store then later walked out the door. He still opened the door for me, still courteous as can be.

We walked to our cars and he told me, "It was good seeing you again." I replied, "Likewise." I watched him drive off until his car became a tiny speck in my sight. My conscious began roaming, telling myself that there is no need to be angry or sad. He was the one who was patient with me when patience was all that he had. He was the one who loved me, cared for me, and who would give me the shirt off his back. Now that I'm older, I see! He is now with someone who appreciates his love, someone that will love him truly.

Driving home thinking of love songs sang by people who hunger to be truly loved and kissed, I vividly remember my past experiences with the man at the store. He was truly someone who I had, and now truly missed...

© 2012 SN Brown MEd

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