tall

i’ll tell you what love did for me;
it taught me that others don’t see me
as i see myself…

it taught me that i am weak, that
wanting to be loved is much different
than hoping for passion. love showed
me that being stupid was not an excuse
for longing, that time will swallow us all.

love gave me an acceptance of others that
they never deserved, had me smile graciously
for every knife that found its mark in my back.

love was something often given, and seldom returned;
taking advantage of kindness–so i become a beggar
at the door, starved for the smallest drams of affection.

love gave me no shield, no place to carry my pride;
wanting only a body, men consistently shallow. love
was my mirage, covering the reality that i was nothing more
than another woman to use.

love fed me false hope, and i fed it a million tears.

you want to know what love did for me? it created a
blur of memory, stamped scenes as necessary. love
told me i was better off hoping for compassion, rather than
fashioning a bolder awareness of self.

have i been in love? eh. god knows i gave everything,
everything! the most men gave me
are two children… and reason to think twice;

love was what i wanted–now i don’t know.
something about being young and foolish…
it needs the young part,
while age can only court being wise.

you know you stand tall
and you keep standing! doesn’t
take a genius
to hold every fort…
and forget the worst of it.

you don’t fall again, because the
heart is attached to living.

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6 Replies to “tall”

  1. Eileen,

    This resonates with me in many, mostly painful, ways.

    I have found in the course of my life the love of good friends and I have found I have to work at that and that honesty is the key!

    As for the deeply passionate loves of my younger years I have given up on that.

    But not yet on the companionship which could include a physical component – it does not seem to be available!!! 🙂

    David

    1. am sorry to stir the more painful thoughts….. for myself it has been that those attracted physically have been ones of very poor intellect. even the husband was smart, but not very well read. not sure what it means, except that expectations for a woman are to be dainty, many require a child and at least feigned innocence. i have been far from that my entire life.

  2. Love is real, but there are so many facets of it that are temporary illusions. I agree that the painful parts of this are what drives the piece. But I have to disagree that love has made you weak…quite to the contrary, I think it has made you very strong for what you have had to endure because of it. To truly love someone, to give everything, takes tremendous courage! It’s being afraid of being hurt but giving it your all anyway, despite the fear of hurt, or loss, or being one-sided. In my experience, it is the ones with the biggest hearts, the largest capacity to love, who end up being hurt the most, and the most often. But those are the people who change the world (and who end up changing others through their kind hearts). The romantic love of the fairy tales we were fed as kids? Yeah,that’s the illusion. But the deeper love of good friendships, of lasting companions, of parents and kids, of best friends, of animals….those are the real deal. Goodness, didn’t mean to ramble. It’s just that your poems so often get me thinking, E. 🙂 That’s a good thing, I think.

    1. am not sure what got me thinking on this….so true that the love that is more like a strong friendship–that’s the lasting side of things. like my marriage would probably worked out if he and i were more friends, really lacked any respect on his part. in the long run i would rather be showered with respect, than showered with romance. maybe i’m too arrogant….but roses from someone who looks down their nose at you don’t mean a whole lot. respect is something that has to be built, and if it doesn’t show signs of growing it’s not going to just come out of the blue. thanks for the compliments, btw…..i like to analyze things. try to understand so it’s a little easier to live with myself.

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