And Love Remains

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I found the following poem in a pile of old journals and materials that I had in storage. I don’t exactly know when it was written, but I do know to whom. I wrote it as a present for my husband when we were still married, probably mid-way or toward the end of our thirteen year marriage.

Reading this reminds me of those times when my heart was “hit with a painful light” and what it is like to love someone so much it “burns away the doubts and fears.”  I miss loving that way, so completely.  Are “grownups” ever able to trust enough to love the way we did when we were young and reckless? We grow cynical and cautious when we see too much of life and know what people are capable of doing to each other.

It seemed significant somehow that the word Love is smudged on the parchment paper by what looks like it may have been a tear drop. I was sure when I wrote this poem that the last line was true, that “always, always, the love remains.” It didn’t feel that way to either of us at the end. Yet I don’t think it really went away, either.  Not for me, at least.  I still feel it when I look back, like an ache in my throat.  Maybe not missing him exactly, but missing loving him.

And Love Remains

When stress persists, it levels low
The years behind us, the future’s glow
Daily toil becomes mundane
The days all seem to proceed the same
Like a blind man groping in the darkest night
Dulled emotions are hidden from sight
Though faith exists, it’s often weak
And sometimes hope is afraid to speak
Then amidst confusion, anger and strife
My heart is hit with a painful light
A love so strong it burns away
The doubts and fears that mark my days.
My love seems empty, a source of pain
But always, always, the love remains.

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Of Darkness and Light

PinprickGoing through old notebooks and papers from twenty years ago and more brings up so many memories, both good and bad.  But even the bad are good, because they are proof that you can survive even those times when you are positive you won’t.

One thing I found in my archived musings and meanderings, was a prose poem I wrote for a friend who had miscarried twin baby boys.  While that hell never happened to me, I could pull upon my own days of darkness to relate.  I hope this provided her with some hope that the light is still there even when the dark seems to have snuffed it out.

OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT

Pinpricks of light flare briefly in the darkness like corroded matches sparking against rough stone, but the black hole swallows the flame before its warmth can penetrate the dampening depression of the night.

Yet within the belly of blackness, each point of light cleaves like to like until eventually you feel a faint breath of warmth and, turning, you see it:  a dim glow battling the light-sucking darkness.

You watch like a benumbed sleepwalker as the light grows and warms and slowly melts the pain that sheathes your heart in an icy grip.  You begin to breathe again, slow deep breaths of sweet fragrance.  Life returns to your fingertips, trickles through you, in you. 

Smiles now reach further than your lips.  Laughter delights your ears.  Then one day, driving down a familiar road, you hear your own voice singing a joyful song and know it is gone.  The darkness.  The points of light have quietly, slowly, but undeniably banished the blackness.

Look for the points of light.  Know that they do not disappear.

Snowflakes melting in your daughter’s eyelashes.

The warm form of your spouse curled next to you in bed
after a long, hard day.

          The light touch of a friend   
               who passes you in the hall.

A blue jay perched on a branch outside your window
scolding you for forgetting to feed him.

The lingering taste
       of your favorite food.

The quiet stillness found after dark as you sit
       in the comfort of your own home
       your loved ones sleeping peacefully upstairs
       and watch candles soften the shadows of the night