Remnants of a Dream, Both Before and After Awakening

Written by: Linda Witt-King

Woke to an empty bed
He wasn't there.
Overwhelmed by a cluttered kitchen
left from the night before
A freshly cut green pepper and lemon 
lying on the counter

He's asleep on the sofa
wrapped in the wine-colored robe I had given him.
I crawled into his arms, unwelcomed,
Why didn't you come to bed? 
I couldn't sleep, the sleepy reply.

There's the bottle, now nearly empty of its golden liqueur, 
the sweet object of his affections through the night.
What are you hiding from
that drives you to drink? 
I'm almost afraid to ask.
He sighs, avoids my gaze,
I want to leave, he tells me quietly.
The first awareness of the ache in my heart
Now softened by the passage of time.

The clock radio comes on
with the last passages of Samuel Barber's Adagio,
mirroring a sadness I'd thought was long gone.
Recalling my dream, I touch the ache in my heart
that began some eight years ago now
...and breathe...
It's much fainter now, not nearly so painful.

I contemplate my life
and I am grateful.
Praise God for it all,
Every seeming loss, every apparent gain.

Maybe I'm ready now
...I'd like to think that I am...
To deal with the left overs,
Confront the overwhelm,
Clear out the boxes and the dross
I've been carrying around since that time,
To be more present, more alive,
More available today
To Love.