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Dying Lights ~ The Break-up Poem

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Image by Karuvadgraphy from Pixabay (text added via PicFont)

Image by Karuvadgraphy from Pixabay (text added via PicFont)

Inspiration For This Poem

This poem was originally written as part of the "Poem Challenge" issued by Sunny River. I enjoy all types of writing challenges as they are good prompts for our muse and a great way to inspire you when you are having trouble thinking of what to write next, or are between projects.

Love has its ups and downs and most of us have been through at least one break-up in our lives. This poem expresses one man's heartbreak as he arrives home to find his wife is leaving him unexpectedly. It is a story of heartbreak but I hope you enjoy it.


Dying Lights

My heart skipped a beat

As I turned into the street

Saw a taxi

In front of the curb.

I watched you step out

From the door of our house,

A suitcase

In each of your hands.

I quickly jumped out,

Asking, "What's this about?'

A questioning frown

On my face.

Scroll to Continue

"it's over!" you said,

"Our marriage is dead."

Then turned

And got into the cab.

I tried to ask, "Why?"

But my words seemed to die,

Like my heart

That had perished inside.

As my love left that night,

With the cab's dying lights,

I just stared,

Not believing the truth.


What could I have done?

I did not know you'd run.

Deep in love

I thought we were still.

I was blind, so it seems,

Mislead by false dreams,

When in fact

You had no choice but leave.

I must look within,

Acknowledge my sins,

Be better

Then I thought I was.

Not mope on the past,

The line has been cast.

Move on

And see where life will lead.

Though nothing will replace

Your sweet smiling face,

The way

I remember it still.


© 2013 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 22, 2020:

Yes it is. Thank you Brenda.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 22, 2020:


It's always sad when one has no idea that the relationship is ending and the other one walks out.

Nice one.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 22, 2020:

Thank you Peggy. This poem was actually written seven years ago, but I am going through my old articles and refreshing them in the hope of getting moved to Discover or a niche site. My wife isn’t away right now, but will be for a couple of weeks leading up to Christmas.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 22, 2020:

You portrayed a sad ending to a marriage. I am glad that your wife is away from you for family reasons and that you were not reflecting your life in this poem.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 22, 2020:

Thank you, RoadMonkey. Yes, the worst way tp break up. Thank you for reading. I read your story "Isolation" and loved it, but was unable to comment.

RoadMonkey on November 22, 2020:

So sad, a love dying and not knowing about it until it's too late. Nicely written.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 20, 2015:

Thank you for reading and your kind comment Suzette. Fortunately the narrator is not me.

suzettenaples on January 20, 2015:

How sad! But this is beautifully written. I feel for the narrator and his/her heart breaking.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 10, 2014:

Wow Suzanne, sorry that happened to you. Sounds like it was sudden, but I'm sure you are better off. Thanks for your kind comment and vote up.( A friend's husband has just suddenly up and left, thrown his job in and run off)

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on August 10, 2014:

Sounds just like what happened to me! I only cooked and cleaned, worked my bum off, paid for childcare and did everything and the idiot sat on the couch depressed until one day he woke up and said "I don't love you" and took off. Don't you just hate immature people? Very clear and easy to read poem - voted interesting and up.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 09, 2014:

Yes teaches, you are right, it would be heart breaking. Glad I captured it well. Thanks for your kind comment.

Dianna Mendez on August 09, 2014:

YOu have made the emotional experience tied to this type of situation so real with your words. I can't imagine how devastating this would be to hear, but here it is visually as well.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 23, 2013:

Thank you for reading this loveofnight, I appreciate your comments, and I agree that great poets do tap into their painful experiences to make their poetry special

Loveofnight Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on November 23, 2013:

You did a good job with this one, I was not expecting her to leave or should I say I was hoping. The photos included really brought the whole thing home. I believe that the greatest poets write from a realm of pain (even their happy poems) maybe that is why they are so good. Thanks for the share.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 17, 2013:

Yes Nell, made me tear up just writing

Glad you enjoyed it though, thanks for voting up and sharing.

Nell Rose from England on November 17, 2013:

This was a sad poem, but so true for many people, voted and shared!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 17, 2013:

Thank you Eric, I love those

Eric Wayne Flynn from Providence, Rhode Island on November 17, 2013:

Voted up

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 16, 2013:

Thanks so much Eddy. Love getting your comments.

Eiddwen from Wales on November 16, 2013:

Oh so sad and so wonderfully created. Vote up and shared.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 15, 2013:

Thank you for your kind comment FlourishAnyway, and the vote up etc.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 15, 2013:

This is written so well that I can place myself right in the narrator's shoes, although I've never been there. Voted up and more. Very nice.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 15, 2013:

Hi Jo, Thanks for reading this and your kind words. It's what us poets strive touch people, sometimes to make them happy, other times sad. Thank you for voting up and sharing.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on November 15, 2013:

This poem flows like a dream, but it hurts so bad! Fiction or not, this is very touching. Nice work, voting up and sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 15, 2013:

Hi again Kim, Thanks for the invitation to visit your avatar anytime. I may just do that. Your own hair sounds nice too though. Cool, me...but I'm a geek..haha? I'll just be patient for your challenge poem, sure it will be worth the wait.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 15, 2013:

Thanks Suzette, fortunately, in my case this is fiction, though I think many can relate. I couldn't have wished for any greater compliments than those you gave. Appreciated.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on November 15, 2013:


You are a sweetheart. In case it takes me awhile to meet the challenge, feel free to visit my avatar any time. My actual hair is very long and straight with maybe a touch or natural curl, nothing like the avatar's hair. Smiles.

Thanks for being such a cool guy.


Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on November 15, 2013:

Oh so sad! But, so beautifully written. The meter and rhyme is wonderful in this poem. I hope this has never really happened to you - I hope this is fiction.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 15, 2013:

Aw Kim, you are too kind. Your comments 'rock'. Thanks for the vote up and share, and I can't wait to see what you come up with for Sunny's poets challenge. Will give me a chance just to see Clarinet Seymour and her amazing hair again.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on November 15, 2013:


I, too am wanting to join Sunny's challenge. You sir, with this poem, have risen to the challenge and more. This is awesome work. Definite V+/Share. Great Work!

Much Enjoyed,


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 14, 2013:

Thank you Linda for the wonderful comments. glad you enjoyed, and yes I'm glad it's fiction too.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on November 14, 2013:

You did yourself proud Jodah with this prompt. I love the photo's, the quotes and that beautiful heart-wrenching poem. So glad this is fiction.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 14, 2013:

Yes do it jhamann, I have written poems from three of her suggested titles already...good burst of inspiration. Thanks for your comment.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on November 14, 2013:

Awesome! I think I will check this Sunny River's challenge. Sounds like fun.. jamie

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 14, 2013:

Yes drbj, fortunately it was journalistic. My wife has been away for three weeks, but purely for family reasons...she hasn't left me. However, I guess it's a little like being an actor. Being alone, I was able to put myself into character for this poem...and feel the hurt.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 14, 2013:

Wow, I felt your pain with this one, Jodah. Hope it was strictly a journalistic device.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 13, 2013:

That's true kidscraft, The reality is that love can be painful, and there aren't always happy endings. Thanks.

Thank you Sunny River, for your generous words....had a bit of trouble with that last stanza too.

Sunny River from A Place Without A Name which resides somewhere between Fantasy and Belief, just north of Reality on November 13, 2013:

Oh wow. Powerful and so sad. That last stanza really got me.

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on November 13, 2013:

Too sad that it had to come to that :-( I suppose not all the love stories have a happy ending ;-)

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