Poem: The Space Between

The Space Between

In a tourist town, you sit to the side, alone
at a table near the edge of the sea.
Grey clouds fill the sky, fill the horizon.

No one approaches you.
It is the times we live in. Distanced.
Deliberately apart.

Or perhaps it is you.
Perhaps you are the old man people avoid –
if not unsafe, at least uncomfortable,

full of thoughts and utterings,
snippets of madness and sanity,
so beautifully intertwined it is hard to know one from the other.

Sad, Sassy. Snarky. Better left alone.

You sit on the bench and listen to the sea,
to the wind.
You are not unaware of your quirks and unruly mind.

You do your best to hold it in.
You breathe in. Out. Deliberately. Slowly.
You pray like an ancient monk.
You scribble verse in your notebook.

You are a hard man. Hard to understand,
Hard to know. A good listener. A poor talker.
Alone most of the time.
And comfortable with that aloneness.

The morning passes. Hours of it.
Hard work, just to become your better self.
Hard work, but worth the effort
to empty yourself, an act of restoration,

and finally you are ready. To leave
and enter the world that has injured you,
leaving you strong and broken both.
Nothing is simple.

About this poem

I am something of a minimalist. But life is not. People are not. Situations are not.

But still, I try. It is where I find my peace. Not in the things, but the space between.

Tom

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