by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
Built a barrier around my heart to block the feeling of vulnerability
–of any possibility that I might have love in my hands
Stood way back, hiding inside while I pushed away the man I loved
when I couldn’t handle what I felt or how he felt for me.
It was too easy to pretend to have no emotion.
Too hard for me to be touched within.
So I closed the door and off he went.
I built an unrealistic crush on the guy who seemed too good for me,
as anyone would have been since I had no belief in my value.
A whirlwind began spinning when he pursued me to no end,
opened up his romantic saga, throwing love notes at my feet,
singing songs devoted to me, pouring attention into my life,
more than I had ever seen,
coaxing me out of my tight shell, warming me up out of my hell,
touching me deeply, more than I had felt before
Wow it was like a dream,
that fairytale bubble of he and me, where everything was
about his love for me, and how I felt my life encompass him.
Until I grew beyond that simplicity–needed to know more
But that was not what he’d intended nor what he’d bargained for.
Anger boiling, constantly pointing, separating us from one to two.
Off I went, sadly knowing how romance leads to
a trap door of bitterness and sorrow.
There, my path turned more than once, to rub against the life of another
But I hadn’t found a way to get past the pain of me and you,
the bubble that burst in two.
How I’d trusted you enough to let myself open up
yet feel the end—that horrible pain
when love died for us.
It became easier to mark off the spot in my heart
with an invisible box reserved for the sake of protection
From then, no matter whose path I met, my heart was held deep inside,
like a secret beneath the surface, invisible to all but me.
I became afraid.
Lived my life in fear.
Kept myself blocked from letting new love live
Except for the easy ways with those I deemed safe
No risk for real intimacy or give and take.
A magnificent theory–created in my mind–
that love had eluded me.
But truth be told;
It is I who has deluded love,
Twisted it into a monster
Which holds me down
Like a trapped animal,
All the while I still scream
for real love to find
the core of me underneath,
and set me free.