Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized

Redemption

Tonight I allowed my heart
To envision myself
As a 6-year-old with dimples
With honey-blonde wisps
Spilling out of a
Bobby-pinned bun
With tattered ballet slippers
And a fresh recital bouquet.
Joyful, graceful feet
Pirouetting across the stage.
Grandma used to say
“Beauty is only skin deep –
Ugly goes to the bone.”
But she meant bitter, not ugly.
Bitter lives inside and eats a person up
Until callous actions flow out of a
Bitter, hard heart;
Whereas
Beauty bursts out through the
Kind of smile you can see
In someone’s eyes.
Beauty lives inside a heart
But can’t be contained, so it
Flutters out in
Thoughtful words and kind gestures.
That 6-year-old me was
Lovely, innocent,
Yet full of the kind of heartache
Cruelly gifted through careless words
She ought not to have overheard.
Words like
“She’s not really in our family,” and
“She’s not really my sister,” and
“She can’t play with us.”
Yet she breathed in better, not bitter.
She chose to be kind, not cruel.
But she learned she had to
Give something to be loved back.
Growing up this looked like giving
Toys and time and allowance.
But as a woman it looked like
Giving her innocence, her money,
Her dignity.
How much has she given over the years
To receive a zero return on investment?
But she’s learning.
She’s wiser now, yet lonely.
Lovelier than ever, but her
Broken heart still beats and longs
For someone to say,
“You are the best part of my life” and
“I’m glad you’re mine” and
“Come hang with us.”
To say all this without
Her having to give or be or do anything.
To have her own home, a husband,
A place where she feels seen and heard.
Tonight I allowed my heart
To envision myself
As a 44-year-old with dimples
With chocolate-frosted wisps
Spilling out of a
Messy bun –
Beautiful even without makeup.
And I reminded myself that
Beauty overflows from a
Tender heart that is broken, yet
Has abundant joy and love to give
To someone who will
Look past these
Hard-earned scars and see
A beautifully-mended heart.