"When love beckons to you follow him, though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden. For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth." (Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet)
The thing about poetry is that it's a great balm for grief and heartache. Whether you are able to write your own poetry or read another's, the effect is the same: over time, the words slowly sink into your conscience and help to heal the places where the wounds are the deepest. It's an enormously therapeutic process. I wrote this poem when I was in just such a place of grief and anger. Not only did it help to begin the process of healing, but more importantly, it taught me something about the nature of love, about the capacity I have for love, and the realization that love itself is at once the cause of the deepest wound as well as the cure for the greatest sorrow. That by allowing feelings of anger and grief to continue to besiege me long after I have expressed them, I never heal my heart. But in acknowledging that I loved, and continue to love, my heart is made whole again.
"Love doesn't have anything to do with anyone else. Love is not a relationship. Love is a state of being; it's the condition of our own heart" (Judy Ford).
Realizing this, one can endure the greatest heartbreak, and yet rejoice in knowing that it affirms we are capable of great love.This poem is called Spoils of War, and has to do with acknowledging anger and suffering, grieving over the assault to the heart, and indulging in it, to a point. But there are those who choose to wear their battle scars with stubborn pride, not ever knowing that they are capable of great love, if only they would choose to see it.
Spoils of War
old wound emerges
bandaged under layers of gauze
by her steady hands
that toiled to conceal
that hoped upon hope to heal
the scars of battle
thus, did i suffer for you, it says
thus, did flow the stream of sorrow
tinged red with the grief of our bloodshed
pulsing with loss under translucent skin
living testament to suffering
i wear with pride
the enemy has absconded
with the spoils of war.