People talk about your life separating into before and after.
The moment it happens, this big void splitting across the road of your life.
Because you can’t go back.
Can’t ever go back to what it was like before
To who you were before.
It isn’t like that though
There isn’t just a gulf behind you, forcing you forward.
There’s one in front of you as well
Sticking you here in this moment
Irrevocably different from the person who walked the path behind
But not changed enough to face the road ahead
So you float
On you island
Smile and wave at the people calling you on
Because they don’t see the tear
Don’t realise why you can’t reach them
Why they can’t reach you.
They think you’re just sitting still
Choosing to wallow
To stay close to what it was
And over time
They start to wander on
They’ve done their bit
It’s up to you now.
Life goes on.
Day by day
Inch by inch
Slowly, so slowly, the gap starts to close
You move towards after
The broken part almost a crack you can step over
Until a song, or a laugh
A shade of lipstick, a waft of perfume
That advert, those glasses
The shape of a smile
Rips the gap open
Pushes you back
After as unreachable as before.
It would be so easy
To stretch your arms wide
And jump into the void
Or, not even jump
Just step off
A future you don’t want
That isn’t the one you planned
Because even when you can see what it might be
Can glimpse the scenes ahead
They all have that one, gaping hole in them
It’s hard to be hopeful
Floating on this island
Trapped between before and after
Some days it comes.
Some days it stays safely out of reach.
As you cling on
Knowing the gap has to close
It has to – right?
When it does
It won’t be easy
Won’t be “normal”
Won’t stop hurting
Won’t stop you wanting to look back
Won’t stop you stumbling when you hit another crack
That will always happen
You will always have up and down
Good days and bad
Days you like yourself, recognise the person in the mirror
Day that you don’t.
The changes become gradual
Who you are from who you were
An everyday occurrence
Like it always was before
Keeping you ready for the next step
For the things that lie ahead
Growing while you walk