Light (Poem)


By Ashley O’Hare

You’ve been there for me

since the first week of September.

A time for new beginnings,

new lessons,

and new adventures.

I had hoped you were going to stick around—

that you would be there to give me a hug when I received my diploma,

or to wipe the mascara from my cheeks when I endured my first breakup.

You were like an older sister to me.

I looked up to you

But this year you changed.

You picked on me for my height,

for the three inches I cut off my blonde hair.

You made me self-conscious,

then clasped your hand on my shoulder and told me,

“I’m here if you want to talk.”

I trusted you,

and you lied to me.

I opened my heart to you,

and you used my weaknesses to put me down further.

I thought you would be the thread to stitch me back together,

but you’re the needle stabbing at my heart, leaving me gasping for air.

I learned the hard way that you never cared about me.

Just as the moon pulls the tide,

my mood was dependent on you.

Your energy affected mine.

I thought we were always on the same page,

but when we gazed up at the night sky,

 you saw evil in the darkness

while I saw hope in the stars.

I tried to believe you changed because you were going through something rough.

I tried to be by your side and help.

I tried to be a good friend.

I tried.

When we met, I thought you were the light I needed to see through the darkness—

a glimmer of hope.

I had forgotten that we you create light,

you also cast a shadow.

This is my goodbye 

to you,

and to our friendship.

Thank you for the memories—

The night of our first dance

when our laughter filled the green room after you drew my eyeliner on too thick.

When we stayed up until five a.m.,

speaking jargon and struggling to keep our sleep-deprived giggles quiet.

The afternoon at the movies,

when we made our own voice overs in the empty theater.

Thank you for the lessons—

Without you, I wouldn’t know 

that trust can be the glue to bond people together,

or the weapon to tear your heart.

Or that not everything is what it appears to be.

A fake smile can conceal copious amounts of hatred and anger.

You taught me that the only person I can truly rely on

is myself.

I’ll always hold you in my heart,

I’ll never forget you—

but right now, I need to find my own light.

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