the reason why

if I needed a reason
to pace the floor,
pass by the door a fifth,
tenth, fourteenth time,
to check the gas,
to raise the windows,
to create just a little more
space for the dark
to slip into

if I needed a reason
to count the passing dogs
with impatient owners
hurrying them home,
to touch again the spines
of books whose pages
have kept their silences
firmly to themselves
and failed to distract me

if I needed a reason
to press my ear
nearer to the air
we shared,
to wait fruitlessly
on footfalls in the hallway
to pass, to pause,
to toe the crack
at the bottom of my door

if I needed a reason
to twist and spin
myself into a thread
thin and taut, fraught
with all the things
we wait to occur
while all our actions
compounded, amount to
a paralyzing passivity

if I needed a reason
to box up all these hours,
to cut these ties
and stop the gainless pacing,
to close my eyes,
and finally close then
the window blinds –
you didn’t stop by to ask it,

and that’s the reason why

© Sarah Whiteley

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leaves-and-stones-2sm

this is where I begin to feel
the pull of other roads
and if I lose you in the unwinding –
still, it is better than
the knots of not leaving

there is a necessity now
to disentanglement
and that yellow blaze
down the middle is not
the regret we expect –

but only the way forward

© Sarah Whiteley

holding on

fall leaves

listing off on my walk
the names of the trees
whose leaves are holding on
just a little too long –

what was golden now
giving way to brown,
tattered things that cling
complaining in the wind

there is an art, I think,
to holding on, to letting
go – and an impatience
for things which shouldn’t

but have lingered past
their welcome – strange
how we are perhaps more
enamored by the things

that rightly fall away
than by those that fight
another day to stay

© Sarah Whiteley