Bernadette Mulcahy (Cork City, Ireland.)
When You Were Gone
Johnny wrote a song
cos’ that’s what Johnny does,
I just walked around
in a tearful, cloudy fuzz.
Dreading in my heart and soul
that page of waving notes,
Johnny wanted me to listen to
the song that he had wrote.
We were both aware of the others pain
but he wanted to sing “Your Song” again.
Unsure if my heart could take anymore
he went for his guitar… out the door.
He started it with a witty beginning
which we both knew was insane,
but he knew the ways to hide his fears
And he knew how I hid my pain.
The lyrics were powerful (you know Johnny)
I smiled through a broken heart,
he sang with his Soul instead of his voice
I tried not to fall apart.
When he finished he asked me “what do you think”?
I could only say “it’s so true”,
I could see the pain in his 18-year-old eyes
his face etched with the loss of you.
I told him then that I felt so tired
I really needed to sleep,
overflowing with my memories of you…
I went to where I could weep.
Johnny knocked and asked if I’d like some tea
he’s not one to be fooled for too long,
so I tried to be brave and croaked “That’d be nice”,
we were hurting, when you were gone.
We tried not to talk of your parting too loud
in case “volume” made either one shatter,
but Johnny had helped me in so many ways
I feel he should know “It did matter”.
I knew the thoughts he was going through
he was here… it should’ve been you,
guilt and remorse, they spared him no pain
he is your friend – and he loved you.
And me… well I cried, till’ there were no more tears
Terrified of losing you… till’ there were no more fears.
You seem free and happy – all I’ve ever wanted for you
and Johnny? Well he found love, right out of the blue!
The words of the song that Johnny wrote
still cause my heart to pain,
but the pain decreases, bit by bit
when I see you again and again.
I understand too that it’s natural
that I would feel this way,
because a mothers love is permanent
carved into her heart to stay.
I don’t feel the same depth of sadness now
about the lyrics of Johnny’s song,
as I did in the raw and early days
just after you were gone.
I miss so many things about you
the music… and the laughter too.
Things didn’t turn out, like I’d planned so fine
that’s ok – Gods plan must be better than mine.
You’re finding your way in the world out there
I love you my son… and I’m ALWAYS here.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (When You Were Gone by Bernadette Mulcahy )
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