Did you mean to? – some verse for a Sunday


Did You Mean To?

You made me who I am.
Did you mean to?
With your words, your deeds, you changed me.
You made me laugh, made me cry,
Gave me pause, made me think again.
Did you mean to?  Do you know?

You smiled when you crooned a song,
And your joy flowed through imperfect notes.
You sparked a flame that won’t go out.
Did you mean to?

You listened to incoherence,
Nodding and waiting for the torrent of words to cease.
You were patient, and in your patience gave me calm.
Did you mean to?

You broke me with your words.
You wounded me when you shut me out.
You made me throw up barriers that stayed up for years.
Did you mean to?  Did you care?

You didn’t laugh, not to my face.
You could have, maybe should have, but held back.
You sensed what was beneath.
Your understanding eased the pain, you helped me heal.
Did you mean to?

You flattered and praised falsely, no doubt meaning well.
You made me distrust affirmation.
Did you mean to?

You used me, and I let you.
You took what I’d done, turned it to your own ends.
You hardened me.
Did you mean to?  Did you care?

You asked for my advice.
You turned to me for help and guidance.
You let me know that I was wanted, needed.
Did you mean to?

You showed what friendship really means.
You stood firm when all else shifted.
You gave me hope.
Did you mean to?

You taught me what was right.
You cried for me and celebrated with me.
You showed me how to choose a better path.
You made me who I am.
Did you mean to?

    • Trish
    • November 8th, 2010

    This is a beautiful, thought-provoking poem about a relationship. I expect there are as many interpretations as there are readers – we all see things from our own perspective.

    I read it as a poem written by a man to a woman who has hurt him. He doesn’t understand her. She seems to love him, but he is not really sure if she does. She seems to blow hot and cold.

    I think she is caught up in the classic dilemma faced by all women. She wants an alpha male who is self-confident (who can protect her and defend his territory) but at the same time she wants him to be gentle and kind (so he will be a good father). A tall order for any man!

    So in the poem she is confused. She gets her own way a bit too easily with this man!

  1. How fascinating to see how someone else interprets this. I will let it sit here for a while, in case anyone else comments, before I say what the poem means in my head.

  2. I thought it was about lots of (or at least several) different people. Whatever it’s about, I found it very moving. It made me cry. Sorry.

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