Where does disappointment go when it is done with you?
When all of the hurts and pangs of the unrealized
have stripped you of joy and rendered your eyes red and raw,
where is its offender? Where is it?

Disappointment, like so many emotions,
renders the king among us
as low as the plowman.
It buckles us, knees on floor.

There is no undoing, no going back.
We can’t unsay the words, become unhurt.
Disappointment takes its toll,
demands its payment.

Left barren, a bit less than before,
disappointment has taken something away.
It absconds with a little piece of the soul,
snickering over its shoulder as it trots away, unseen, on its dark horse.

The shadows fall long and thin.
The world dims, daylight less bright.
We realize we will never be as whole as we once were,
in the moments before it claimed us.

We can’t give as much, we haven’t it to give.
The cistern empties, too low to share.
Even breath is shallow.
The taking of it a reminder of the thing missing.

And people ask what is wrong,
but they don’t really want to know.
They want a simple answer,
something quickly mended.

They don’t want the sharp,
shards of truth stabbing in the eye.
They want to see something fixable,
not the pallor of disappointment.

For when disappointment finds us,
It leaves no trace of its presence.
The scar is internal, no ridge on flesh.
No bandage is visible, nothing to pull away.

Where does disappointment go when the well is dry
and the barren tree has no more fruit?
It goes into the heart, a borer worm,
And eats away at hope daring to bloom.

Poem by Renee C. Johnson