Three Short Words

Three short words
Short, but sacred
Take away but a one lettered word
And they lose their gravity.
How good it felt
To hear them finally said
To me
Not by someone
Who is obligated to
Or thinks that they are
But by someone else
Because it was a choice;
And how painful it felt
When they were ripped away
Because it too
was a choice.
It is a choice
And always was.

Even though now
I don’t
Because I know that I can’t
So I choose not to,
I don’t deny that I did.
That would be an invalidation
Of what was
And that wouldn’t be fair
To anyone involved.
Why be dishonest
and utter them in the first place
Or hurt someone after
By claiming you never did?
If you spoke them
Why lie to yourself
And say they were empty?
Or tell me
That you only meant them
In my terms?
I wanted to hear them
Because they meant something
To you
Like you convincingly claimed
That they did.

It’s a choice
I’m afraid to make
Again
Because
I thought I knew what they meant
But now I’m not sure.
More than saying them
I’m scared to hear them
Because it is
And always was
a choice.

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