This free-verse poem was written in response to Victoria’s weekly prompt “Writing in the Second Person” from her blog Live to Write Today.

Back story: Β I wrote this poem during the late summer 2009, right before my husband left me. I was doing a lot of journal writing to prompts. The prompt was “What surprises you?” My answers were:

  1. People who would rather be right than be kind.
  2. The majesty of nature’s storms.
  3. The power of the many life lessons I’ve encountered.
  4. How much pain can fill an empty room.

I turned these four answers into this poem that speaks pretty clearly (to me, at least) about my relationship and my feelings at the time. I happened to write it in the second person, so I offer it here in response to Victoria’s writing challenge.

You Surprise Me

You surprise me with your superiority.

You are so easily blinded by your zeal.
“I’m right! You’re wrong and stupid for not agreeing with me.”
What happened to your grace and balance?
Your arrogance suffocates me.

You surprise me with your intensity.

You brew and stew and spew, as if earth and sky are angry;
Do you need to release pent-up energy or cleanse some accumulated filth?
You take my breath away,
or perhaps I forget to breathe in your presence.

You surprise me with your authority.

You sneak up on me.
If I were paying closer attention, would I have seen you coming?
I don’t think it matters; you and I were supposed to dance.
But did the music have to be so loud and enduring?

You surprise me with your finality.

Tell me.
How can so much pain fill your empty room?
Did you mean to leave me here to empty your pain,
Or am I supposed to simply empty your room?