If I had been brave
by Ryan Stone

If I had been more,
held your hand
when it mattered

and even
when it didn’t,

what started as a scribble
in my yearbook
may not have ended
with this apology.

Ink lasts longer
than nascent buds,
wilted before their bloom.
Notes we wrote
lend breath
to ghosts,

long after
pens fall still.

In this cold place
I see your face
as it was behind the gym;
where your lips
once tasted

of blackberries
and sunshine.

PHOTO: “Blackberries” by Ryan Stone.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem stayed buried for many years until I arrived in a place that allowed me to look back without shattering into a million tiny pieces.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ryan Stone is a poet incognito from Melbourne, Australia. He writes poetry, short stories, and even shorter bios.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The place of lightness that allows me to look back into the darkness.