Empty Words

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
We do not lie in what we say, we lie in what they've heard. Sometimes, other people's promises are only our own wishful thinking.

Submitted: January 21, 2007

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Submitted: January 21, 2007

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Hidden by the fading trees
and webbed around with shallow brooks
stirred only by a summer breeze
and undisturbed by prying looks
His house stood, windows opened wide
to welcome her with empty words
as she entered at his side
this is what she thought she heard:

A promise she'd be happy there
and that she'd have no cause to cry
no need for worry or for care
no need to break up truth from lie
She'd sit by windows opened wide
to read her books of empty words
She's always have him and her side
and words would mean just what she heard

The seasons passed: those words, it seemed
had every chance of coming true
And if at night she sometimes dreamed
of losing him, he never knew
She sat by windows opened wide
while he whispered empty words
He knew it not, but he had lied
Not in what he'd meant, but in what she'd heard

Now this went on for may years
and truth be told, he soon grew bored
with all her passions and her fears
Her smile cut him like a sword
as she sat by windows opened wide
and called to him some empty word
He could not understand her, though he tried
to know what she meant, and not just what he heard

He left her on a winter day
with promises that he'd return
before the springtime passed away
before the sun began to burn
She read with her window opened wide
and in her ear he said the words,
"I'll always be there at your side"
Not all that he meant, but all that she heard

But winter passed, and spring did too
and of him no sign could she find
Where he had gone to, no one knew
No news could ease her troubled mind
She read with her window opened wide
and yearned for comforting empty words
to say he'd come back to her side
if not in what they meant, then in what she heard

The sun burned down on fading trees
the moon would cool the drying brooks
a petal-scented summer breeze
tore through the pages of her books
as she read by windows opened wide
and wondered over his empty words
How could it be that he had lied
in what he meant, or what she heard?

As summer faded into fall
a storm came through from off the seas
it blew against her eastern wall
with no more strength than summer's breeze
She left her windows opened wide
and mumbled over his empty words
"I'll always be there at your side"
Not what he meant, but what she heard

Soon winter came, but it could tell
her nothing of the man she'd lost
as diamond-sparkling snowflakes fell
against her windows lined with frost
But still she left them opened wide
and wondered over his empty words
"I'll be there," he'd said, but he had lied
not in what he meant, but in what she heard

She watched as winter turned to spring
as Janurary turned to June
and as the birds began to sing
"He can't be long, he'll be home soon,"
she said by her window opened wide
and mumbled over his empty words
"I'll always be there at your side"
Not what he meant, but what she heard

As summer-time to winter turned
and winter turned again to spring
still on the trees the sunlight burned
but still no whispers could it bring
to her through her window opened wide
as she repeated his empty words
so many times their meanings died
She cared not what they meant, and knew not what she heard

The years went by and the fading trees
fell down beside the dying brooks
the petal-scented summer breeze
no longer came to read her books
She closed her window and trapped inside
all memory of his empty words
"Our memories often lie," she sighed
"We forget what they meant, and regret what we've heard."

No happy ending has this tale
For gone are the trees and shallow brooks
no breeze comes, but a winter gale
blows with no care to stir her books
She is not at her window opened wide
and no memory remains of his empty words
He never came back to her side
If ever he meant to, we haven't heard--

Though far be it from us to wonder why
he ever said such empty words
"I'll be there," we all say, and perhaps we all lie
not in words that we've said, but in meanings they've heard.


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