Sonnet Sunday 98: To the Woman Crying in the Bathroom at Work

Today’s sonnet was written for the Poem a Day Prompt of “Personal,” and is based on a true story. I was working a bit late and went into the ladies room and heard muffled tears.

Really, what should someone do in that situation? In my case, I went about my business and left. Based on the hour, chances are good it was someone I didn’t know, or knew in passing at best, so I decided it was a can of awkward I didn’t want to open. Heaven knows I’ve cried in the bathroom at work. Heaven knows I just wanted to be left alone when I did. Instead, I just went back to my desk and scribbled out this poem before heading home.

(For the record, this was actually the second poem I wrote that day. The first was, well, personal. I doubt I’ll ever share it. Some things are best kept private.)

To the Woman Crying in the Bathroom at Work

Originally written November 5, 2018

I heard you crying in the bathroom stall
At work. Your ragged breaths, your runny nose:
I didn’t know if I should try to call
Out to you, or if that would simply throw
You into more emotional distress.
I almost spoke. I almost, almost said
I’ve cried at work as well; been a complete mess—
Been forced to function on a fragile thread—
Relied on good mascara to belie
My inner turmoil: anger or despair—
When all I wanted to do was just cry
And cry and cry, and let my heart repair
Itself. But no: I left you on your own:
But in your tears, please know you’re not alone.

Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash

Posted in poetry

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