Wednesday, February 17, 2010

a very belated semi-valentine's day poem

i wrote this right before valentine's and prevaricated about posting it. reflecting on relationships, and how i am in them, involves two sets of feelings. but, with some objective reflection from others, i decided that this poem is much more about me than about others, so i've decided to post it. also, because i might be a little proud of it...

"just biology"

outside our window
grew one of those epic, all-consuming trees,
casting shadows on our faces.

it was so much a part of our romantic landscape,
that it was easy to think that it grew
by virtue of our laughter,
the tears we shed,
and our long midnight sighs.

it was so easy to imagine that its photosynthesis ran,
off the light of our love.

so, imagine my surprise when,
after so many tree-filled days, we split.
but the tree didn't die.
there were no cracks in the heartwood
to remember us by.

after all, trees know a little more than we do
about weathering storms
and surviving the seasons.
that's not a metaphor.
that's just biology.

and i'm glad that tree lives,
now impersonal
and a part of someone else's story-
lit by someone else's love,
surviving someone else's regret.

and we lived too,
even when i thought we wouldn't.
hearts kept beating.
feet kept moving.
mine led me half-way across the country,
to almost make the same mistakes again.

it must be how i'm wired -
loving comes just a little bit harder,
filled with a little more doubt
than seems necessary.
but, some people get good, easy hearts,
and some people get challenging hearts.
it all depends what you're born into
and what you survive.
that's not a metaphor.
that's just biology.

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