I Set Him Free

A poem of release and freedom by Angela Barnes


No, that wasn’t him—that was somebody else in his skin
he was lost—too afraid to live again

“No more responsibility—just, no more!” (he said)

I was there the day he tried—I cried and said it was okay—he could stay away
I lied—it wasn’t okay, but it was his only way

Through all the years—the fears—the tears
I grew strong and able—capable

Able to manage and do all I had to do
protecting children—protecting him

Till the time came that threatened life and limb
and I had to let him go

It took so many years to release fears
to once again remember and know he wasn’t the man within

It hurt—we lost—I loved him—he loved me
but the beast without I couldn’t trust again

So, time went by and I came to find a way to let go of pain—fear and misery
I found no blame in him only the sorrow of the loss again

He didn’t do it! It just happened to him

He didn’t know how to be strong
I felt sad but no regret—hmm… a smile on my lips now reassures me

I did more right—than not

He tried, and I so often forgot
So, I stayed strong and a time came when I wasn’t looking

and I wasn’t there—and he again learned to care
just not with me

It ended the way it was meant to be
I set him free

and now, I, too, am finally free

Remembering him—August 2, 1946-November 18, 2017


About the Author

Angela Barnes is a published author, poet, and songwriter, and a powerful and candid speaker. She hosts live and virtual poetry events.