If You Forget Me (Response to Pablo Neruda’s Poem)

Diana Raab

I want you to know

one thing

if there is ever a day

when you begin to think

where I am in this world

and if I could live without you

you need to stop,

like not move in your tracks,

but look down upon those imprints

your feet made in the sand

where you and I walked together

arm in arm, side by side

shoulder touching shoulder

and observe that you are ingrained

in my brain like every kernel of sand

that lies beside our largest ocean

in this world where we inhabit

two sides familiar, yet foreign

to one another

just beside the log cabin

you built me for my last birthday

before you had to say goodbye,

while I begged you on all six legs

not to leave me like this,

but, in the end, I just had to let you go

because when you love someone

that is just what you must do.

Set them free

to do what they need or want to do

just when they want to do it

whether it is with you or not—

while always keeping in mind

I will never in my lifetime or yours

ever stop loving everything about you.

Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a poest, memoirist, blogger, speaker, and award-winning author of nine books. Her work has been published and anthologized in over 500 publications. She holds a PhD in psychology with a research focus on the healing and transformative powers of writing.

She blogs for Psychology Today, PsychAlive, Elephant Journal, and The Huffington Post. She is the editor of two anthologies: Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge; author of two memoirs: Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey, and four poetry collections, including Lust. Much of her inspiration comes from diarist and writer, Anais Nin. Her latest book is Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Program for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life (September 2017). Her website: