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Voyage of the Heart

by Lionel E. Deimel

Paris vacation  


She said, “I have to go across the sea.”

I asked that she might stay a while with me.

“I'd like to, but I really have to go.”

I asked again, but she again said no.


I didn’t know how long she meant to stay;

She only said, “I have to get away.”

She had to think; she had to clear her head;

Was she, was I, were we prepared to wed?


She flew away and left me home to wait,

To dream, yet feel a captive of some fate

That turned on what she’d see and what she’d do,

On how she’d think and feel when she was through.


I got a postcard every now and then

From London or from Paris, on the Seine.

Their dates were always many days ago.

Was she still there, in Rome, or in Bordeaux?


She never wrote, “I wish that you were here.”

She never said, “I really miss you, dear.”

I counted days and weeks as they went by,

Not thinking I would have to count so high.


When no more postcards came, I asked her friend,

Who had to tell the truth and not pretend.

She said she’d been back home a week or two.

“I’m quite surprised she hasn’t called for you.”


And so, I called with much anxiety

To ask my love why she’d not talked with me.

“I had a lovely trip and time to ponder

If, in time, I thought that we’d grow fonder.


“I really didn’t miss you, didn’t know

How you’d have viewed the sights I saw, and so

I had to think our love’s not meant to be;

There is no ‘us,’ but only ‘you’ and ‘me.’”


Not surprisingly, this poem is autobiographical. Beyond that, there seems little that is useful to add. As for any failed relationship, I can only imagine how things might have turned out. When I began introducing people to this poem, I discovered that its theme is more universal than I might have thought. The poem I wrote after this one, “The Conversation,” is about the start of the relationship that ends in “Voyage of the Heart.”

This poem was written over several days and was completed on 2/9/2006. I made various, mostly minor, changes over the next month, achieving the version above on 3/9/2006.

— LED, 3/9/2006

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