Gentle with my Heart

Wandering through downtown’s historic streets
I enjoyed the familiar sights, sounds, and scenes
with pastries and a conversation at the Station before
a final stop at a landmark shop for a Titanic pound of beans.

A thoughtful note from a friend and a distanced hug
brought back the still painful loss of my dad
along with thoughts of another I had to leave behind
and for maybe the first time that day, I felt sad.

When I last drove through this hamlet
I thought I would surely stop at number fourteen
whenever my work brought me back;
it would just be part of my normal routine.

I considered it for a minute or two.
Maybe just to grab my birthday chair
or perhaps some Christmas lights
from the closet of the dragon’s lair.

But I stayed far away, never crossing the river.
I went straight back to my hotel and the safety of my room
where I could hide the few tears that escaped
while I showered, and I washed away the gloom.

Today I will be back behind the wheel,
pushing the reset button to make another fresh start.
This time does feel different and I hope my resolve lasts.
I’m letting go, albeit slowly, still gentle with my heart.

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