What It's Like to Be Me, poetry by Matthew Leach at Spillwords.com
Meghan Holmes

What It’s Like to Be Me

What It’s Like to Be Me

written by: Matthew Leach

 

A part of me has died
Some large section of my heart is gone
You can’t function with only part of a heart
Yet, I keep living

He’s so far gone not only can I not touch him
But reaching for him is entirely impossible
How I long to hug him again
To feel the comfort of an embrace without walls
To have my cheek on top of his head

Learning to live without my son is like trying to walk stripped of the legs I’ve had since the day I was born

I struggle to make sense of it all. It’s an ache in the chest with an unhealthy lung, gasping for the air I’m drowning in

How can a horse gallop with no field?
Or an eagle soar over the trees with broken wings?
Every morning is the bite of winter after a February thaw

I only know it’s morning because the sun comes up
There’s no sleep or rest to separate night from day
Some comatose hours in the dark and then light creeps in to prove once again that he’s not here

I lay down only to wrestle with thoughts and images of that evil night
If sleep overtakes me I relive the moments in terror that I can’t even choose to wake up from

I need this slash in my chest, this hole in my heart to be a scar
But it won’t stop bleeding long enough to mend

If all these tears I shed were my own blood I would be with him now.
Having bled out my lifespan in the course of some days

And anger, oh the anger. Every unanswered question sends a thrust of rage through my body. If I could slip my hands around the throat of the devil there wouldn’t be a hell deep enough to bury him in

But the cycle is that anger subsides and sadness sets in
Sadness turns into hurt, unbearable hurt
Hurt begins to fade and I catch myself in a smile only to turn and look for him
The reality of his absence strikes me
Not being able to look on his smile with mine starts the course all over again

This place I never wanted to be is here
This person is not who I ever wanted to be
This rocky, treacherous, pothole-filled path is a journey no parent should have to go down

This was his choice
His pain has been traded and is now mine
Anyway, this is what it’s like to be me

 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

This was written after the suicide of my 12-year-old son in 2018.

Matthew Leach

Matthew Leach

Matthew Leach 46, father of 3, stepfather of 2, and grandfather of 3. Lives in Hickory Flat, MS with wife and youngest son.
Matthew Leach

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