The Ones That Got Away

Kathy Sparling
Kathy Sparling


Still working out what I would say
To all the ones that got away:
The ones who staked their claim inside,
Who conquered, then did not divide.
The ones I never got to hold
Who, in their youth, already old
Showed me how the flesh is weak —
To those shy spirits, could I speak?

I’m sorting out the words I’d choose
If, finding nothing left to lose,
I took the chance to start again,
To squarely face each could have been.
Delivering just speech
As meaning whispered each to each.
Nursed grievances have kept at bay
All the ones that got away

And you. To you, such talk is cruel.
To you, who stay, always too much to say.

Now sirens passing by outside
Sound tentative — they can’t decide.
They’re holding back a little bit
Racing hearts, but can’t commit.
An urgent message just the same
And, anyway, I changed my name.
I named each one again today
To silence all the ones that got away.