The Portrait of Disappointment

after Joni Mitchell*

after years of hoping things would change
and giving in to “well, that’s the way it is,”
look me in eyes and realize
this is who we are,
who we’ve become,
it’s finally come true –
our love’s become old news.

we never lived up to the story of make-believe;
when we face each other
I must believe this is the choice
we’ve been making.

every morning & every night,
from here on out
this the only way to keep going,
alone.

turn these dog-eared pages of our lives
for other truths to be told,
for other hands to hold.

from countless days of emptiness
from your professions,
your attempts at affirmations,
something in me knows better:

there’s more to love
than a collection of memories,
there’s more to see
than foil-wrapped treasuries.

what passed in the space between us?
a moment, a disappointment,
and I leave it all in the past.

what’s to come?
a path we’ve never tread,
yet time’s been stolen
and minutes slip away.

the clock stares and we wait
for affections from a new love,
a new life in a new bed.

The title comes from a comment Joni Mitchell made when describing the theme of her music, one part hopeful and one part “the portrait of disappointment.”

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