Proof of Life

Looking back, it seems a bit easier to see
the things you didn’t see when they were happening,
easier to mark the miles that passed by.

You didn’t notice—at least not at first—
that even though you thought you were drinking,
you still felt that thirst at the back of your throat.

You’d hoped it would never happen to you,
this lingering loneliness,
the sapping of the spirit that wearies you now
clear to the bone.

You wondered for a while
how you could have both been moving
along in what seemed the same direction
and yet have ended up this far apart—
absent the affection you’d felt for so many years.

They ache and burn now,
these tears of realization,
an aching confirmation of the fears
and a numbing awareness of the indifference
that has grown like stone inside the parts of your heart
that used to beat so keenly you knew its rate
without touching your wrist.

You barely remember the last time you kissed
with anything more than perfunctory feeling,
the last time you touched one another
with any sense of passion or pleasure.

Perhaps it is the measure of your own unmentioned feelings,
or the reeling realization of not knowing for sure
whether or not the other is able—or even willing—
to move forward in a way that will someday find you
once again finding a deeper satisfaction
in being more together than you have ever been.

A hundred small choices landed you here
but just a few good ones could move you
toward a better shore
than the one you have been wandering.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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