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Leaving - Syd Shaw

I left in winter, ice clinging to my eyelashes,

slammed the car door and drove to a cheap motel.

I left my guitar behind, came back the next evening

stayed the night, stayed again, stayed again.

I left in the spring, when the tulips were blooming

I remember the stems ripped, flowerbed trampled

from all my clothes and books thrown on the lawn.

I drove down to the co-op that night, stayed the week.

Paid them four dollars and a vegan curry.

I left again in summer, took the cat,

stayed at a friend’s house with murals

on the walls. I covered our walls in bright colors

when I came back, spent a paycheck on decor

thinking maybe I just needed to feel more settled.

I left in the fall right after Halloween.

Packed while you were at work, took the cat,

the paintings, the toaster but not the blender.

I left a pregnancy test on the bathroom sink;

you never called about it. I never went back again.


Syd Shaw studied poetry at Northwestern University. She is currently Assistant Poetry Editor at Passengers Journal. She has previously been published in Snapdragon Journal, Waxing & Waning, Eclectica Magazine, Panoply Zine, and The London Reader among others. Syd is Assistant Poetry Editor for Passengers Journal. Her passions include tarot, guitar, and aerial silks.

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