leave the key on the counter

is there no end to longing?

the slate black of your hardened
stare lingers.

tonight you close the door behind you,
leave me alone in what
used-to-be our room, now
empty of presence and warmth.

no tears to shed, no time to think.
what has become of us?
what has driven this wedge between us?
when did we become you and i?

if there’s no hope for repair
for what used to be
leave your key on the counter.
and please,

please, leave the dog.


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38 thoughts on “leave the key on the counter

  1. tigerbrite says:

    Poignant, Victoria. To lose the dog as well would be terrible.


  2. Nanka says:

    Much power behind this poem, a lot of emotions and never give up on that old faithful ~ Dog!!


  3. brenda w says:

    When there’s no hope for repair, animals help us repair our individual hearts. Chasms grow between people. Your writing is a beautiful expression of the pain endings can carry.


  4. Gay says:

    That’s the question, isn’t it? How did “we” become “you” and “i”. Sometimes those silences, those turns to other interests drive so much space between people that there’s no route back and there may only be the tie of a pet or children and sometimes that’s not enough. Well said.


  5. Pamela says:

    First of all, glad to know it is fictional, Victoria. It is a poignant write on how many relationships do end though. One partner wanting to drag children or pets into the picture.



  6. 1
    ALL IS

    Cat Only


    Dog Yes

    Key Gift
    Gift Key

    No Dog


    Only Cat

    IS ALL


  7. nico says:

    Very sad–broken relationships affect more than just the two people involved. Excellent writing on a depressing theme!


  8. howanxious says:

    Separation is a bitter truth of life…
    Powerful writing…


  9. Truedessa says:

    Your poem is full of emotions that many can understand and feel. I think that is what makes it a powerful write. I always enjoy reading your work.


  10. I’m drawn by the full circle in this poem, the surrounding ambience is not an evaluation but the whole of your experience and, includes the hunger for oneness with everything that has true meaning ~ Superb!


  11. shanyns says:

    Love this – love that it is fictional and yet we can relate. Leave the key ,and the dog.


  12. So many times the dogs/pets are the one who feel the end of a relationship more strongly. Sadly it is a slight epidemic over here, when couples break up the pup usually goes into a home for adoption (which may never happen). Perhaps this relationship was not worth salvaging- considering they want to keep the pup – nice work.


  13. You’ve captured the emptiness, the hardness, the silence…I can hear the keys clank on the granite counter top. Nice work ~peace, Jason


  14. Grace says:

    How sad that everything has come to this ending ~ And I do understand that part of the dog ~ Good one Victoria ~


  15. What strikes me is the tone, the breaks and rhythm here. She’s sad, resigned but not harden. She faired better than he.


  16. Dogs shouldn’t be involved in sad things.

    There should be a rule for this.


  17. Myrna says:

    At this point, don’t care if he leaves, but he’d better not take that cute dog.


  18. A c lipped ending matches the subject matter.


  19. Talicha J. says:

    Wow well written and full of emotion..I enjoyed this!


  20. Ouch! Sad write Victoria–you capture the feeling so well, even in the first line–


  21. ayala says:

    Nice write, Victoria. I love the ending.


  22. wolfsrosebud says:

    ah… bitter sweet… gotta love dogs to fill the empty spots


  23. ihatepoetry says:

    Powerful and vulnerable. Great ending too.


  24. markwindham says:

    yes, if it ever came to that I think custody of the dogs would be our biggest battle. 🙂


  25. Laurie Kolp says:

    So glad it’s fictional, but full of raw emotion still the same.


  26. annotating60 says:

    I know those feelings well. Good write Victoria.>KB


  27. A poignant poem, expressing the sadness of separation in the domestic details, thank you, Kevin


  28. claudia says:

    oh heck…that is so tough.. the slow separation from we to you and i again…ugh… not easy.. and then the dog can be closer than the once loved one..


  29. WabiSabi says:

    This is my second reading, I visited but didn’t comment. This poem, spare though it is, captures the reader immediately, holds her and, allows her to experience this scene as though it is happening to the reader. Your second line stung, as it was meant to! Strong writing, Victoria!


  30. Susan says:

    There would be no end to longing–or anger–if we wake and find the dog gone!


  31. Mary says:

    You have written this scenario well, Victoria. Yes, sometimes the only thing to be done is say good-bye to what used to be. And, ha, I do understand about the dog. The dog MUST stay! (Smiles!)


  32. lidipiri says:

    Touching, very touching. Sad and nostalgic and makes you feel the mood to perfection.


  33. Just to clarify, this is fictional, thank God.


  34. brian miller says:

    ugh….what a hard place of being…when you dont see a way back…when the warmth is gone from the room, and the relationship…when leaving seems inevitable…and we try to hold onto at least the ‘best friend’ in the process….


  35. kaykuala says:

    Times of parting are not easy where there are still good feelings present. But it’s always no bother when bad blood was the cause. Hoping that it does not rear its ugly head but parting should be accompanied with love. Wonderful write Victoria!



  36. dragonkatet says:

    A sad and poignant observation of what it can be like at a relationship’s ending…what struck me as the saddest part was the begging of the person to leave the dog. So many times the animals become the “kids” to be fought over and taken or left, depending. A good write, Victoria.


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