A tribute to Jan

He came to me,

suddenly, unapologetically,

said, ‘You’re mine.’

There was no courting,

no flirtatious glances

across the room.

Sounds were sucked

out of the world,

colours dimmed.

.

My insides wept,

pleaded and begged,

‘Not me. Why not

the next girl in

the next room,

the redhead down

the hall? Why me?’

.

But I looked in his

blackhole eyes,

stared into his

sunstorm grin,

said, ‘Fuck off.’

He only smiled,

terrifyingly,

charmingly.

.

The first thing

he took

was my strength.

A step out of bed,

the floor pulled out

from under,

an endless fall,

time seemed to linger

to watch me fall.

I broke a hip.

.

The next

he took

was my hair.

Locks like

wavy autumn leaves

littered the bathtub

the pillowcase

the kitchen floor.

.

Then

he took

my time.

Brunches with my

daughters, dinners

with my lover,

afternoons in the golden sun,

Christmases, weddings,

birthdays.

.

He then became bold.

Moved on

to my plans, my hopes,

my appetite

for flavours and for life,

my dreams

became shattered

reflections, harvested

through fragmented

hours of the night,

my smile,

damn how I missed my smile.

.

But for all that he took,

he knew I wasn’t his,

not yet,

not truly,

he knew I wasn’t his

until I decided so,

and I hadn’t decided so,

until I finally decided so.

Until I finally

took his hand

and let go of my lover’s,

my daughters’, my life’s.

.

But I sure as hell made him wait.