Gratitude

I.
 
in the years that I was worse
where I was angry and afraid
you did not turn me away;
you held my hand as I span,
 
nothing but a whirling storm.
in the days after I tried to end it
you let me sleep on your floor.
you told me what safe meant.
 
then I ran from that world.
I couldn’t look at you and see
a memory of the storm and the pain
that was all I’d been for you.
 
II.
 
there were days when I lived
for the moment you would come home
your shadow in the doorway
all that kept me drawing each breath
 
those days are past us now
but sometimes they come back
brief glimmers of the time
where all I could do was hide.
 
and though it’s not the same
and though I know I’m better
I’m still sorry that I say I’m sorry
more than I say I love you.
 
III.
 
you’re afraid just like me;
you don’t know what to do here,
whether there’s something
that you’re meant to be saying.
 
but you can’t see the difference.
you can’t feel the strength
that floods the room around you
and lifts me up with your arms.
 
you don’t need to say anything;
you have already changed my world
by coming when I called
and by staying when I asked.

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