Leaving. {Poem}

Via Marcia Kester Doyle
on Feb 17, 2016
get elephant's newsletter


Sacrifice and compromise are essential components to a lasting relationship, and a strong indicator of the level of commitment between two people.

This poem is an example of someone willing to leave behind their childhood home and their family and friends, boxing up old memories and moving across the country to be with the one they love.

Leaving these memories behind is a bittersweet experience, but made easier by the support of a lover who promises a better future together.


At 2:00 a.m. heat lightning
bares a clean row of teeth
that sink into blackberry sky,
its sweet darkness dripping
through your window sill like jelly
sliding down the edges of toast.

A flurry of fireflies crowd
the television screen, air filled
with night blooming jasmine.
You dream of old keys jangling
the locks of a Missouri home,
lawn manicured and stiff under
footballs and plastic kiddie pools;
your arms fill with moon.

April scattered flecks of mud
over the basement window,
brown smudges of sun casting
dimpled light on cardboard boxes
labeled with dates from your childhood.

1964: grade school report cards,
wrinkled mittens, a plastic baseball bat
and the yellowed photograph you’d forgotten.
Elizabeth, adopted mother standing
by a thin Christmas tree,
last smile for the camera.
The memory is here like a mushroom
popping up after spring rains—
her jasmine hair fills the basement,
now a blanket of moonlight.

Coffee clouds our porous mugs
Missouri 800 miles behind
rain patters tiny feet
on the drum of our roof.
Grey thread of morning mends
a torn sky drifting North
our fingers meet across the distance
of old voices boxed for storage.

Your face, clear as the moon
unwinds a smile
leaving orchids in my hand.


Author: Marcia Kester Doyle

Editor: Toby Israel

Image: Guillaume/Unsplash // Chris Lawton/Unsplash



About Marcia Kester Doyle

Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the International Bestselling humor book, Who Stole My Spandex? Life In The Hot Flash Lane, and the voice behind the midlife blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Country Living, Woman’s Day, House Beautiful, The Huffington Post, and Scary Mommy, among others. She lives in sunny south Florida with her husband, four children, one feisty granddaughter and two chunky pugs.

Connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


22 Responses to “Leaving. {Poem}”

  1. mollystevens2015 says:

    This is beautiful Marcia! You are a talented poet and I didn't know it….until now.

  2. livebysurprise says:

    Lovely Marcia. Nice to see you stretch – you're a talented poet!

  3. Helene Bludman says:

    Beautiful poem, very evocative. Lovely use of language.

  4. Jennifer says:

    This is lovely! I’ve always admired people who could write poetry. Bravo.

  5. Chris Carter says:

    Oh my heart… your words are like smooth silk to my soul. You are SO gifted. Thank you for sharing this side of your talent, Marcia!

  6. Awwww… thank you so much, Molly!

  7. Thank you! I love poetry 🙂

  8. Thank you for stopping by to read this, Helene!

  9. Thank you so much, Jennifer. I really enjoy it.

  10. Chris, you are so kind—you just made my day with these kind words. Thank you, my friend. XO

  11. Moi says:

    i love your expressive use of language

  12. Kimmie says:

    This is gorgeous, Marcia. Stunning poetry!

  13. Thank you, Moi, I appreciate it.

  14. Thank you, Kimmie! I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

  15. donofalltrades says:

    great poem, Marcia! I've been thinking of writing poetry just to be writing something. Maybe you inspired me! Lol.

  16. jerseylil says:

    Such a beautiful poem, Marcia, very expressive and I love the imagery. Your verse at the end brought it all together so perfectly!

  17. My Inner Chick says:

    —Gorgeous, Marcia.
    You continually surprise me with your gift of words.
    I so much appreciate this poem

  18. Thanks, Don! I'd love to see some poetry from you!

  19. Thanks! That's one of my favorite lines.

  20. I appreciate that you stopped by to read it. Thank you for your kind words. XO