Living a long goodbye

in response to an amazing new challenge at Real Toads by Izy, here is my ‘break up’ poem.  Please note, this is not a real break up poem for someone right now in my life, but rather a take on a favorite part of an old break up song.  The lyrics are here, and the video is here.  The song, A Long Goodbye by Brooks & Dunn, could be a staying together song as well.  It does play both parts well in the description of relational anguish.


Song plays on the radio.  Bought the CD.

I drive, listening to it over and over again.

“Just what kind of love keeps breaking a heart”


Song blasts over the speakers.  In the field.

I walk, listening to it, tears falling again.

I know the answer, this kind of love breaks us.


Song plays quietly, waiting for the phone. Ringing.

I listen to your machine, waiting for you.

How long can we keep breaking and not be broken?


Song plays, the band is live. I’m singing loud.

You grab my hand, pulling me close to dance.

Leaning in, feeling a love of broken hearts beat.


Song is done, Quiet at last.  Standing tall I walk away.

You watch, knowing it is time to go. We do.

“No matter how I try, I always make you cry.”


Song plays again, years later, iPod perfect tune.

You touch my hand, exchange wry bittersweet smiles.

“All that’s happening here is a long goodbye.”


Song plays, one last time. Dark days looming.

I watch you leaving me for the last time. Gone.

Only death can break up this long goodbye.


Song plays, and they all wonder why I sing.

Your heart and mine, tears and joy, always twined.

“Cause I’m still in love with you
I spend each day here waiting for a miracle”




  1. June 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    How long can we keep breaking and not be broken?

    Love this question….such a good thing to reflect on. Great poem, Shanyn.

    p.s. The music link isn’t working though… at least it didn’t for me it was just an advertisement.

    • shanyns said,

      June 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Hannah – thanks for coming by. Glad you loved the poem so much. If you listen past the ad, the song is there. Couldn’t find the ‘official’ video for the song.

  2. hedgewitch said,

    June 7, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Sometimes each day *is* a miracle. I like the lines you chose to weave this around, Shan–lots of truth.

    • shanyns said,

      June 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks 🙂 When I started to listen to the song the poem started to take shape all on its own…glad you enjoyed it!

  3. June 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    The way you describe the effect a song can have on someone’s everyday life is remarkable.
    these lines really struck home:

    “How long can we keep breaking and not be broken?” In true rhetorical question style, there really is no answer.

    • shanyns said,

      June 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm

      Kerry – thank you for your comment, and I am so pleased you enjoyed the poem.

  4. Helen said,

    June 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I have also played meaningful songs over and over again! Your poem illustrates how much magic there is in music!

    • shanyns said,

      June 8, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Helen – so glad you enjoyed the poem, and music has that power for me in so many songs! Thanks for coming by.

  5. Mary said,

    June 8, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Strong writing here. Some songs definitely continue to keep their ‘power’ as the years pass. Only death can break up a long good-bye. Yes, so true. Been there…………….

    • shanyns said,

      June 8, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Mary – thank you. Glad you enjoyed the poem, it resonates when we’ve been there!

  6. June 8, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Oh but threads that are golden won’t break easily! What I admire most about this piece is your sly use of repetition in a subtle way….I gave me the impression of a lullabye. Thanks for participating in the challenge and viva la

  7. June 8, 2012 at 9:51 am

    We are each and everyone of us always saying the long goodbye, aren’t we? But, there is no real goodbye for love.
    Great song, I only know it by Ronan Keeting from Boys own. Lovely prose. Glad you’re not saying the ling goodbye 🙂

  8. whimsygizmo said,

    June 8, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Beautifully done. Love this line:
    “How long can we keep breaking and not be broken?”

  9. June 9, 2012 at 2:01 am

    The last four lines of this just reduced me to tears…what a beautiful job on this!

  10. Earl said,

    June 21, 2012 at 4:52 am

    love it

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