David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Departure and Cowardice

November 19, 2011: Departure and Cowardice

Fairly frequently, I ponder the nature of departure--especially the kind of sudden, without warning kind of departures that can occur in professional relationships and often personal relationships.  I wrote this poem long ago, but resurrected it this weekend because it feels right:

Departure and Cowardice


You could have called me an ass

And that would have said less

Than your silence and absence.


You could have mocked me

From the middle of the room

And the sting would have been nothing

Compared to the shadow of your fleeing form.


You could have sighed and shook your head

At the parting words I said,

And that would never have been perceived

Like the gasps that came as a substitute

Tried to take your place.


We both know the trail that led us here

To my departure and your cowardice.

Memories last longer than words

Even hollow and insincere.


* Thanks to The Blue Aeroplanes for helping me come up with this title via their magnificent "Cowardice and Caprice."