When you left, all noise and bleak anger and throat-clogging tears,
I stayed alone in the house on the beach. I had no place to go,
And the rest of the world was so full of you. I wanted to empty
You out of me, every bit, before I began my life again.

I started with my soul. I read the books you couldn't stand, played the music
You hated. I turned the TV to the wall, took all those great old movies
Back to the video store. Maybe down at the boardwalk they wondered:
What happened to those two? The ones who kissed inside the photo booth.

Oh, I was on a mission. I drank red wine and ate fried chicken. Called my broker.
I ate my lunches out on the jetty with the fishermen and the gulls. I told
Them all about you. They cocked their heads and ate my breadcrusts,
Until the wind called to them and they scattered back into the sky.

All summer long I waited for my own call, picking up the pieces of my life
Like crusts, while the waves and the tide and the days came and went,
Came and went. Like the gulls' flight it was nothing special, just an exit.
Growing wings is hard, but when you have them, you can fly.

Soar by Judy Schilling

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