Don’t Protect Me From My Heart

“Don’t Protect Me From My Heart.”
Words I said
18 Months ago.
I meant them then.
I mean them now.

There are times
When I have to be human.
When I have to do
What my heart
Asks me to.

If one of my friends is hurt.
In pain.
Or all alone.
And I can tell
That something’s wrong.

I refuse to let a friend
Hurt all on their own.

There are times
When a friend’s heart aches.
It is the way of life.
Sometimes we hurt.
Sometimes we laugh.
Sometimes we cry.
Sometimes we smile.

Feelings are a part of life.
A gift to each of us.
Like sunshine.
And like rain.
Like walks along the beach.
Feeling sand between your toes.
And like walks in the winter.
In the ice.
And in the snow.
When all you feel is cold.

I know what it feels like
When your heart truly aches.
And your soul
Cries tears of pain.

I know too
What it means
To face such things
Alone.

It was 18 months ago
When someone I called friend
Was diagnosed with cancer.
And I listened to my heart.
I did what it asked of me.

I cared.

I was told by damn near everyone
That there was nothing I could do.
That I should just do my job.
And let my friend
And her family
Deal with everything
On their own.
That it wasn’t anything
For me to be concerned about.

Everybody was flat wrong.

There was something I could do.
Something they could not.
For I have a gift
That life has given me.
A magic way with words.

So I used words
To tell her stories.
To bring dreams to life.
To share wishes with her.

So that she would always know
That there was someone
On this Earth,
Besides her family,
That cared about her.
About the things
That she was going through.

Even as I did,
I knew
The pain that I felt
What a transient thing.
For pain comes
And goes.
Just like every feeling
That this life
Has given us.

Sometimes, I feel as if
Because I cared,
And let it show,
My actions disturbed
Everyone I worked with.

This was when I learned
That people are afraid
Of things
They don’t understand.
And I was in the kind of pain
That they didn’t understand.

Of course,
By doing what they did
They caused me far more pain
Than they will ever
Understand.

So, here I am today,
In a brand new life.
One that doesn’t have
The people I once though
Were friends.

As I said,
They don’t understand me.
And they don’t like
What they don’t understand.
The remove such things
From their world.

I have new friends now.
They don’t understand me either.
But they seem to be OK
With that.
As if that’s how
Life’s supposed to be.

And already,
In the past that’s almost past.
I’ve shown the friends
That I have now.

That I care for them.

And once again
I find I have to say
To those I call my friends.

Don’t protect me from my heart.

For my heart
Is very much alive.
And I feel
Everything.
Both the good
And the bad.
The happy,
And the sad.

And my heart aches,
And my soul
Cries tears of pain
When one of my friends
Is hurt,
Or in great pain.
Or just feeling
All alone.

For you see.
I have this gift
That life has given me.
A way with words.
A gift I’ve learned to use
After all these years.

To let my friends know
They are not alone.

And as long as my heart beats.
And my soul lives within me.

They never will be.

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