Issues

For twelve years
plus three, O LORD,
my heart has been bleeding
and for the same season
I did not believe
it could heal.

For twelve years
plus three, O LORD,
my heart has been breaking
and for the same season
no one would touch it
lest they break too.

For twelve years
plus three, O LORD,
my heart has been suffering
and for the same reason
you spoke to it:
“Have faith.”

Too many years,
bleeding and broken.
I have issues, O LORD.
Mend my rent heart
by your grace
to peace.

on Mark 5:24-35 and Joel 2:13, with a nod to Julia Michaels’ Issues

Belated Valentine’s

What I long to say is Walk beside me
but what I would really mean is
Don’t, for your shadow will likely spook me
and I have too many of my own ghosts
to welcome another.
Much better
if you walk one step
ahead, so that we share
in the illusion of affection
but in fact I can watch
safely
for any
sudden movements.
It’s no use
of course.
Many have tried
none have succeeded
to walk in step,
not even in a simple
spirit of solidarity —
the legions easily
outnumber
even the friendliest spirit.
Nevertheless,
try again tomorrow
to love me
and we may yet find
a tardy Valentine
to bother with us
lost somewhere deep
in a dappled forest —
the kind where shadows
are confused and paths
are far too narrow
for two hand-in-hand
so we’ll walk one-by-one
and count ourselves
together.