Kill your darlings

I climbed a mountain today
Chilled in a too-thin sweatshirt by wind off snow
And stood at the point where the path bends back

On the corner of a zigzag track you have three options
To remain
to retreat
or to advance.

(Or there’s always the ravine).

I’m not sure I cared for
the way I felt your wry eyes watching

The one who gave me the words that you stole
was waiting, further up the path

I stood for the length of a sigh
The knowing pressing behind my eyes, the memories
of quiet afternoons finding poems together

Then, as you had known I would, I turned from the shelter
of the bushline, and stepped into the cold
The lines we wrote as clear as blood on snow

I knew I would leave them with you,
but this
was like killing all my darlings.

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