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Counting the Broken Pieces of Myself

Breathing Toxic Air

By Poppy Published 7 months ago 2 min read
Image Created in Midjourney

I’ve held back from writing my poems in the shade of your true colours out of respect for who you used to be. But here is the truth, dug up from dying soil, pried from my calloused hands.

You are a coward.

You deliberately hurt me so that I couldn’t accidentally hurt you. You ran away from me for fear that I would walk away from you. You gave me silence and ignorance in response to the explanation I gave you in some shameful attempt to hold power over me.

Friendship should never be about power, even when it is ending.

You resented me for not being able to breathe in your toxic air, but I tried, I swear I tried, no matter how suffocating it got. After all, it didn’t use to be this way, did it?

I always feel the need to write your past self into a disclaimer between every line, underlining it in red, pressing my pen down extra hard until it is digging trenches in the page.

You used to be the freshest breath of air. The gentlest breeze. The warmest ray of sunlight. The kindest smile.

But it reached a point where I viewed you with more concern than appreciation, when I stayed out of dread more than want. How many pieces would you break into if I left? Who would pick them up?

Now I suppose that is ironic because I am collecting my pieces off the bathroom floor, balancing them in shaky palms and watching as they fall through the gaps in my fingers. I try to count them but I clutch each jagged edge too tightly, until they are soaked in red.

One day I will manage to properly say goodbye to you and greet the version of me that smiled and held happiness. That day is not today.


My poetry book 'Wasted Love' is available to purchase here.

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About the Creator


‘Wasted Love' available to purchase here in paperback and eBook format.

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Comments (17)

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  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    This is so tragically beautiful. Well done..

  • Brin J.4 months ago

    The saddest part about this was being able to recall this pain so vividly…. How terrible that we’ve all be hurt so severely, but also, how blessed we are to find empathy in each other.

  • Celia in Underland4 months ago

    So sad but so very true of such relationshops, we make excuses. "I always feel the need to write your past self into a disclaimer between every line, underlining it in red, pressing my pen down extra hard until it is digging trenches in the page." These lines are just perfect and sum it up so well x Beautifully written Poppy, once again 🤍

  • Tragically sad... hasten the day when you are able to properly say 'Goodbye"!

  • Teresa Renton4 months ago

    Poppy this is so raw and moving. You’ve conveyed each pain, sentiment, with such care and consideration through your words, images, and metaphors. I can see/feel the underlying ‘disclaimer’ throughout the whole piece. There’s no ‘I hate you’ or bitterness, only sorrow and hurt. For me, the disclaimer sits in that, and the fact that you are explaining how this person made you feel, rather than hurling lexical vitriol. The disclaimer lies as much in what you don’t say, as in what you do say. It makes me ponder more on the concept of space in poetry (reminds me of Glyn Maxwell’s book ‘On Poetry) ‘Out of respect for who you used to be’ is powerful. I hope that day of holding happiness, is getting closer ❤️

  • Donna Fox (HKB)4 months ago

    Wow, this was powerful and so compelling! A beautifully penned tragic piece of writing! Amazing work Poppy!

  • Oh, I was going to say that I Love the Title it pulled me in…♥️

  • These utterances capture my sentiments-😉✌️📝okay Poet♥️

  • Jazzy 7 months ago

    I finally bought your book and I can’t wait to read! 💕

  • Jazzy 7 months ago

    I absolutely feel the pain here, picking up broken pieces of yourself and holding them until you bleed. 😭 oh Poppy!!!!

  • ThatWriterWoman7 months ago

    This is perfect. I really feel the pain here.

  • Donna Renee7 months ago

    “After all, it didn’t use to be this way, did it?“… and that’s how we end up staying way too long 😭❤️. This was so sad but somehow so healing to read.

  • Sara Wilson7 months ago

    Really really good and tragic at the same time.

  • Alexander McEvoy7 months ago

    Off That was a tough one! Extremely relatable and beautifully melancholy! Been in similar positions too many times to count

  • L.C. Schäfer7 months ago

    I love the symmetry in this, and how you close with acceptance 😌 there's hurt, but hope too.

  • That day isn't today for me either. I guess it is what it is. Loved your poem!

  • May that day come soon for you, my friend, & in the meantime may you rest assured that you have many friends who will wait for you, sitting by your side as you heal.

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