This is a poem I wrote for USA Today published just after the 9/11 attacks. Today and every day, the words still make sense since we often take too many of the simple, cherished things for granted.
The Oft Unspoken Words
Stop, before you leave and close the door
To head off to work, or maybe the store.
Let me look at your face, let me see you smile.
I know you’ll be back, but it might be a while.
Ok, we just spoke, only a few minutes ago,
Yet I worry a little, even if I don’t let it show.
As you reached the door, a voice inside said, “Wait!
You’re going into a world that can hold such hate.”
Often it’s not what we do that causes us regret,
But what we fail to do or say, promises not met.
While we have the opportunity, the moment nigh.
There’s something to say before saying “goodbye.”
With so much to do, there seems never enough time,
Let me savor this moment, then things will be fine.
I know you must leave, but stay with me in spirit,
In good times and bad, these memories won’t quit.
Life is fleeting, in the great scheme of the universe,
So forgive the slights or taunts, forget petty little hurts.
Don’t walk away in anger, if heated words we’ve said.
Come back and talk to me, put these feelings to bed.
Wherever you go, take with you this little pearl,
I wouldn’t be who I am without you in my world.
Parent, child, spouse, or lover. My family, my family
My joy, my happiness, my port in the storms that
Let this lift and carry your heart, like the wind a kite,
The oft unspoken words, “thank you for touching my life.”
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