Story within a story…

Once upon a date,
There was a story you would not tell.
A story that hid at the back of your conversation,
But that I caught glimpses of, and felt
That this was an important tale.

Once upon a midnight,
You told me that story, and my heart opened
With love and sympathy and feeling trusted.
And seeing more than glimpses, I knew
That this was an important tale.

Once upon a summer,
Our stories entwined in that beautiful story everyone
Always loves to tell. We saw bright sunshine
In long days, not brief glimpses.
A trivial, but beautiful tale.

Once upon an absence,
You learned new tales in which you were
More than human. And returning, your false insight
Allowed you only glimpses of the person I am –
And turned our story into a tragic tale.

Once upon a silence,
You fled me and the grief I could not help
But feel at the breaking of our story’s thread.
Now I cannot glimpse where you have gone.
The pain fragmented our tale.

Once upon a recovery,
I unravelled the threads of my story
From yours – from the myths and pain and self-delusion.
Now I see in hopeful glimpses that the best of
My tale is yet to be told.


This was inspired by readwritepoem’s prompt to write a poem that doesn’t tell a story, but is about a story.


15 responses to “Story within a story…

  1. A incomplete story makes the best story…

    she hoards trash

  2. I like your repetition and the story you built of each modified opening line. A wonderful piece.


  3. as ravenswingpoetry said nice repetition. All your poems are very good. I like the way it builds and the wordings. Great job 🙂

  4. I always like varied repetition too. I like the way you explore the idea of the trouble that can happen when two separate stories become parts of a single story.

  5. this is filled with strength and hope.. i know how hard it must have been to put this all behind you…

  6. The imagery of the unraveling is evocative. Painful story.

  7. After reading so many other poems about your story, this one somehow seems complete, as if it were the final poem of a cycle involving your ex. It has a beautiful flow to the sound, light and airy, as if it were a song. Maybe it’s the swan song of the relationship.

    Beautiful work.

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone – glad you liked it!

    Mariacristina – thanks for your thoughtful comments. I am definitely coming closer to completion of what I need to write about this relationship, and I’m fascinated that you picked this up! I also think considering this as a story also helps to create a distance – it puts it into that mythic “once upon a time” space that is relevant to the present but a long way away somehow.

  9. the repetition at the beginning of each stanza is very effective here…

  10. This is really nice. I read it out loud and loved how it intensified.

  11. once upon a recovery… line filled with light and open doors… hopeful glimpse… amen…

  12. The poem reads so well, like a song! I wonder why I didn’t subscribe to your blog before Lirone! Well now I have and will read you regularly.

  13. Welcome, Nita – glad you enjoyed the blog – I definitely enjoy yours! Look forward to seeing you around!

  14. I LOVE this poem that is a story…and the powerful feelings within…so sad and yet such growth…Blessings

  15. I think I am finally coming to terms with the idea that I will never hear the rest of his story. And that I will also never be able to tell him my story, which he misunderstood so badly.

    I think I have finally come to terms with the idea that there will be no discussion, and certainly no bilateral resolution, of the issues that remain unresolved between us.

    His inability and unwillingness to communicate has made this whole recovery process far more difficult and prolonged for me than it would have been had he been able and willing to talk through the breaking-up process. But I have learnt a lot from this strange one-sided process, and as I come to the end of that process I think I am also coming to accept that the one-sidedness was just part of the learning experience.

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