perhaps for the first time
we are starting again.
my eyes crinkle at the corners
as they stare bravely ahead.
the fear has been extinguished by a vision
of his glittering possibility.
I do not tremble, hope or wish.
I do not wake, frightened, in the night.
I know I will stand fast if he falters;
he will not take me with him.
I have had the strength to free him
from his ability to manipulate me.
we have come to an understanding;
a state of combined love and respect.
I am not looking behind me
at the loss and the waste of our lives
I am not angrily recounting in my head
the forgotten promises and intentions.
this time, for the first time,
we have started again.
©Jane Paterson Basil