A man smiled at me while I sat at an open café
My usual first response: to turn away
To see which woman the smile was directed to
And I think to myself “It couldn’t be you!”
For too long I’ve worn a badge of pity
Not feeling loved, needed, wanted, pretty

In the beginning my spirit was his to inhale
in the end his spirit I couldn’t exhale

My ex’s house cleaning included the parts of my self
from the years I put my own needs on the shelf
then left my empty cupboards open for all to see
Exposing validation of the unworthiness of me
I finished the job he started on my own
And turned a heart made for sharing, abandoned and alone

So ingrained was his scent in the breaths I take
I had to relearn to breathe for my own sake

Taking fresh stock of what I wanted, but not needed to be there
I surprised myself to find my pantry no longer bare
No longer blinding myself to what I needed to see
I rethink to myself “why not me?”
A fresh breath, a fresh step, a fresh peace, a fresh start
Each breath osmosis; restoring soul to the heart

I take the shades from my eyes to let them show
Turn back to my admirer and breath. “Hello”

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