Fighting for Love

A beautiful autumnal woman dragged her handsome winter boyfriend in
for one last desperate attempt to make this miracle work.
Her history of abandonment triggered by his enacted history of neglect.
He yearns for her, like tiny arms reaching for the mother
who left him stranded on a front yard
at an age too young
to understand in any other way than
he’s not worth taking.

He’s slipped past therapy his whole life,
a lesson in never letting anyone get close enough to hurt him or see his un-worth.
Christmases in the Caribbean, avoiding all reminders of love and family.

But, for her,

So she lashes him with wet tears,
angry when he turns away,
scared that this will push him away,
guilt-ridden knowing his history, but blinded by her own pain
and her own needs.

I help her see
herself as fighting,
fighting for love, fighting.
Fighting for “I deserve better.”
“We deserve better.”

He shrinks in self-absorbed self-flagellation, reliving
his unworthiness in every
cell. A prisoner
of his pain.

Now, I get angry.
I refuse to let him disappear.
I yell, “Do not leave her!
And, do not leave yourself on that front yard again.
Fight for her! Fight for yourself!
Open your heart and embrace her pain.
The greatest challenge and the greatest reward
left undone in your life is
to feel
to hurt
to love
to hold
and never, ever, let go again.

*shared with permission