poetry

The Unthinkable Choice. {poetry}

 

This poem expresses the deep anguish and guilt I felt during the time I was trying to reach a firm decision about ending my marriage.

My daughter, Anika, was barely six and I was certain it would destroy her if I left. So I kept vacillating and remaining stuck in the status quo for a long time, unable to move on, till one day my perspective shifted.

Agonizing over the fallout of my decision on my daughter, I looked within for reassurance during my meditation.

Go ahead and do what feels right. What kind of an example will you set for your daughter if you decide to stay in an unhappy marriage? Is this what you would tell her to do if she finds herself in a similar situation? She will ultimately be better off with your decision. Just talk to her honestly telling her your reasons for wanting to leave… she will understand. After all, she loves you too.”

I decided to listen to my heart and spoke to Anika, and she reluctantly agreed to let me leave.

There was nothing left standing in my way now, except my grief at breaking up the home I had lovingly built brick by brick.

I lay awake that night after telling Anika a bedtime story. “This is the last time I will lie here, with her arm around my waist. I will never again see her bounding down the stairs from this room with her curls bobbing about. Never again hear her yell, ‘Final goodnight, Mom… I love you’ from her room. Never again — this is my last night in this house.”

The pillow was soaked through. The pile of crumpled tissues on the bed grew steadily as the night silently marched on. The air conditioner hummed softly, unaware of the heavy anguish filling the room. At some point during the night, the sobs finally ceased, leaving me numb and exhausted. I gazed blankly at the silvery beam sliding through the blinds and falling on the marble floor.

The familiar whistle of the security guard made me uncomfortable — how can he go about his rounds as usual when my world is ending?

The next day while Anika was at school, I packed my things numbly and did the unthinkable.

Sweetheart, I hope
you know in your heart
how tortured was I
knowing we must part.

To take the decision
That I should leave
The home I’d built
Lovingly for three.

The thought of not
Seeing you daily
Kept me up at nights
Crying miserably.

I tried and tried
To make it work
I felt burnt out
Yet I didn’t shirk.

I hoped by trying
I could shield you
From the agonizing death
Of the home you knew.

But while I put on
A mask of cheer
My insides grew hollow
Till it was clear:

I could choose to be
A lifeless rag
Make a sham of my life
Just let it drag.

Or else there was
the unthinkable choice
walk out the door —
a sure demise.

I asked myself
what you would say
if I made a sham
through which you’d see one day.

And I heard you say
With pain in your voice:
“Mom, you should have left,
it was the better choice.”

***

Tara Anand is a Life Coach & Counselor with a passion for helping women connect to their inner wisdom and make authentic, fulfilling choices. A certified Yoga Teacher and Counselor, she integrates her training in Mindfulness & Ashtanga Yoga and her own life experience in her work. Deciding to honor her inner voice at the age of 34 saw her life and identity profoundly transform — her memoir “Why The Lotus Blooms: Choosing To Stand Tall” gives an intimate account of her journey. Her writing has been featured in national publications, the international poetry anthology “Where Journeys Meet: The Voice of Women’s Poetry“, and on leading blogs such as NAMI and Rebelle Society. Tara is based in India and can be contacted via her website or Instagram.

***

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