When Once I Was Your Girl


When Once I Was Your Girl



I have never been her,

Or free of comparisons to her.


What I have been—

A catalyst and a bridge—

Has never been enough.


Your opinion of me was negotiable,

And your knowledge had failed.

You had seized the dream

To change it,

And not to give it a name.


Obsession fueled your quest,

And a myth had become your woman.

The answer to a dream,

Or a nightmare in disguise.


I forget how long it’s been,

But we had become like strangers--

And there are stories we no longer tell ourselves,

About how this had come to be.


I didn’t know what every shadow meant,

Or how all of the pieces fit,

But the threats to our alliance,

Were sometimes from within.


There was nothing that would survive,

But, once, it was difficult to know.


I didn’t question how it happened then,

But there would be much for me to grieve—

When once I was your girl—

And you were all I knew.



Retta Lewis


I've been writing for many years.  Some of my work has appeared in past journals like Onionhead, Free Focus, Wide Open Magazine, and Up Against the Wall, Mother, and more recently my work has appeared in Children, Churches & Daddies, Caveat Lector, Rigorous, Ephemeral Elegies, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal,  and Penumbra Online.  My day job is working in a field devoted to the prevention of Domestic Violence.

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