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Square Top Lakes, Colorado, August 2018. Copyright © Michael D. Warden. All Rights Reserved.


I suppose

it was the way

the pale light

fell across my scar

on the shores of Connemara

on that late afternoon

Or the way

the smell of

salty brine

lingered on my skin

after my thousandth baptism

in those icy seas

Or maybe

it was the way

my smile could never be

as whole hearted

as I tried to make it for you.

The wind lays curses

on my back

from Gleninagh Mor

and over the sleeping castle

I hear the gulls calling out

their liturgy

of my shattered ways.

I wonder which of these

made you leave,

which convinced you

to tear apart

the gossamer threads

of our long-stretched bonds

and disappear

over the barren hills

leaving no trace

of your soul

ever being here,

Nothing for me

but the memory

of your footsteps


on the wet limestone.

It’s all right

I tell my soul

It’s all right now

As long as I remember

It was real

I can live on.

I was once loved.

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