lost love

What Nobody Knows


On first glance
I saw his white t-shirt
under the button-down,
and I knew I didn’t
have a chance…

I’ve always been
a sucker for that look –
someone who takes the time
to dress right,
regardless the situation.

My heart leapt (or dropped?)
and my stomach was filled
with fluttering butterflies,
and I knew that I was

That white t-shirt
continued to draw me.
When the button-down
was removed; white becoming
the buffer for dirt.

That’s when I first
learned its scent,
a scent all its own—
the mashup of
cologne, sweat, and dirt…

A scent I could pick out
in a crowd.
A scent that would linger
after embraces
had long parted.

Soon came a day, just right,
when the shirt
was peeled away…
given to me to be kept
by my pillow at night.

My nose filled me
with memories as
a shirt became my security
blanketing me with memories…
which weren’t enough.

Too much time
holding onto a t-shirt
became synonymous
with holding onto his
empty promises.

What nobody knows,
I cried all the way
to the post office,
to drop a package
in the mail.

A plain white t-shirt.

Paula Wanken

Shared at Poetic Asides for PAD 2015 – Day 29: What Nobody Knows

** what nobody knows is if this is autobiographical or not **

His Dearest Jane

(a Fib, coming and going)

had been
honest with
herself, she wouldn’t
have needed to be dishonest
with him. The bottom line was that she was not okay.
But…life continues to go on.
She’s not okay now,
but, in time,
she’ll be

Paula Wanken

Shared at Poetic Asides for PAD 2015 – Day 14: Honest and/or Dishonest (Two For Tuesday)