I wish I’d asked you for the last dance

For Chris. 

I wish I’d asked you for the last dance.

I wish I’d known it was the last,

And I’d stuck around to hear your song

And see your smile

And touch your face

And watch your eyes wink back at me

I wish I’d known it all along.

I wish I’d known you were heading over,

Is it better over there?

So far away, a breath or two

Beyond my reach?
Where finger tips can’t quite touch

And you dance to a different melody.

Is it better on the other side?

Is the grass greener and the sky more blue?

Have you found the siren calling you?

Have you found the clarity

And tranquilty you talked of so earnestly

Have you found the peace of mind

And quiet of heart,

The gentle smiles and soothing laughs

Have you found the campfire

And rippling stream

That did so often frequent dreams

That left you yearning alongside me?

Have you found something to fill that gap

For which I was not quite enough

Have you found the sandpaper

To smooth gentle circles

In to the rough

And leave inoffensive slopes

Without the cliffs

Off which you crashed

And the mountains you used to struggle with.


O, I wish I’d asked you for the last dance,

I wish you’d given me at least, just that

With your hand outstretched

You’d tip your hat

And take my waist within your arms

And swirl me round

Till rumpled hair and tempered calm

And passions frayed

Became a blur

In just a moment where the entire world

Can cave in upon itself without a care

And I’d bury my face within your hair

And breathe your scent

And kiss your cheek

And say goodbye,

That would have been at least a little fair …

Instead you ran away

Out the back and over yonder

In the middle of the night

Away from accusatory eyes

And hearts that longed for a goodbye.

You snuck away

With cowardice

And then, mid-flight your heart kicked in

And you yelled a promise out to me

And it was carried on the wind

And dropped inside an envelope

Upon my bedside table.

And that fated morning when I did wake

To find your handwriting

Your cursive script and my name engraved

I opened it,

With naivity and teenage love trapped inside my grin.

And slowly that youthful smile

Dissolved, and tiny termites ate my skin

And tunnelled deep into my heart

And filled that envelope you sent

With the sawdust

Of my heart,

Now spent.


And I wish I’d asked you for that last dance.

I wish you’d offered it to me

And known how much that dance did mean.

I wish you’d cared enough to stay

And dance a while

And laugh and play

And even if you couldn’t talk

Of the darkness that did plague you

Could you not have let me know?

Or given signs, or hints

That could have shown something

Of where your heart was at?

Did I not at least

Deserve, just that?


Just a simple explanation

If nothing more,

Did I have to find you,

Dangling there

With feet, just off the floor?

Did I really need to understand

What it means to be an empty shell

And see your body hanging there

Drained of life

And that vacant stare

That’s now branded upon my soul

Because it screams to me

Of tales untold

And of a heart perhaps that could’ve been unburdened

If you’d been at all



But you chose to run away,

And now I’ve found I cannot stay

For more than moments at a time

In a place that pulls my mind

Towards you and what we shared,

And that, my dear

Is everywhere.


3 responses to “I wish I’d asked you for the last dance

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