A Poem by Betty Hermelee

off to serve


The Second Goodbye

I scarcely slept last eve

my eyes blinked in his shadow

he slumbers free of sound

in his stillness I tenderly massage his toes with mine

nought a stir

his leave confines me this night at seven o’clock

I count the hours, long drawn out for my heart to bare



As the dark pink violet sun swells over the horizon

I am keen to awaken him to enfold in my arms

I pause and behold his face

eyes sealed, a fragile smile on his faultless lips

he rouses faintly, one eye tussles to open

alas he amorously regards me

And says “don’t move”

I wonder what he opines

perhaps a last long gaze to preserve

my face in his mind’s eye


We are placid for moments

till he draws my face at hand

he whispers “Good morning dearest”

I smile, all the while to disguise my worry

neither of us fancy the notion to flee the silken sheets

yet we release sluggishly


We settle on a cheerful day

to overlook our doom this eve

we elect a picnic miles away

upon a hillside chocked with clover

I bundle a basket of provisions

we stroll in unison

he avails me up the hill

I set up the blanket

the remain is a dreamy afternoon


‘Tis six o’clock forthwith I count the minutes

my soul suppresses, he is aware

we engross for what seems like hours

a brief twinkle

and he retreats

the second goodbye




© 2023 Betty Hermelee

Author's Note

Betty Hermelee
Thank you for reading!

My Review

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Serving his beloved with intense romance before he leaves for duty. I wonder if duty to wife comes first or country?
Beautiful lines to appreciate. You write splendidly

Posted 1 Year Ago

Betty Hermelee

1 Year Ago

Thank you Sam for a lovely review!
Best, B
Sami Khalil

1 Year Ago

You are welcome Miss B.
This is the true literary elegance of moments romantic. Nothing tawdry or unsubtle'; tis the pleasure of warm togetherness coming and going, leaving memories - and the unspoken promise of more to come. I love the way you write poems like this: emotional and traditional yet giving the sense of utter liberty, Betty! '.. we stroll in unison ..'

Posted 1 Year Ago

Betty Hermelee

1 Year Ago

Thank you thank you....tis a distinct pleasure to write like you!!! Take care
Best, B

1 Year Ago

Think by now you know how much I admire your writing! Wishing you all you wish yourself and those yo.. read more
Betty Hermelee

1 Year Ago

You're too kind Emma!
I hope it's not last because these words ring inside to scream hello

Posted 1 Year Ago

Betty Hermelee

1 Year Ago

Thank you Mauricio for your words!!!
Best, B
There is such tenderness within this poem. The love, the longing, the holding on and letting go are all so sweet. Very well penned.

Posted 1 Year Ago

Betty Hermelee

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much for a lovely review!
Best, B
It is never easy to say goodbye. But understanding we have to make the most of our moments together is the sanest thing we can do, in a less than sane world.
Whether in peace or at war, being apart from those loved can feel so unfair, through something so mundane yet necessary as career paths.
Beautifully captured.

Posted 1 Year Ago

Betty Hermelee

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much Lorry... your reviews are excellent!
Best, B
Even with a special day planned the goodbye coming at the end of the day looms large. Thankfully though there are people who do serve the countries they come from for without them, none of the rest of us would know peace. A beautiful tale of love and the heartbreak and worry that comes from one we love leaving for whatever duty they are to perform. Beautiful Betty.

Posted 1 Year Ago

Betty Hermelee

1 Year Ago

Thanks Will for your so perfect reviews and support!
much appreciated!
Best, B

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6 Reviews
Added on March 13, 2023
Last Updated on March 13, 2023


Betty Hermelee
Betty Hermelee

Black Mountain, NC

My love of poetry results from my love of art. As a painter I am able to express myself on a canvas. As a poet my words come from my heart, my moods, sometimes sad, mostly upbeat. I like to use vivid .. more..


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