“An Aching Heart” by Katelynn Gilbert

At first, she didn’t want to make a burden of herself

so she tucked her own needs and emotions away on a shelf

for the sake of those she regarded with fondness

and for the people who called themselves friends, though dishonest.


Then, those same “friends” feigned love

making themselves her whole world of

expectations, relations, aspirations.

Except, then they left, and she was ravaged to her foundations.


After that, the remnants of her shattered bonds

became a wall as impenetrable as Babylon’s.

It appeared as a mosaic of tainted memories

shards of their former glory, held together by resounding treacheries.


Next, she allowed someone close enough to inflict damage

since she hoped overcoming the betrayal would be an advantage.

Sweet words of others invaded her fortress

the desire for intimacy made her remorseless.


At last, she believed she’d found shelter in the heart of another.

The pretty lies they told led her to wonder

if perhaps she should allow the cracks in her wall

to widen enough to let it all fall.


Until finally, the past returned with haunting clarity.

She was irreconcilable, struck by the irony

that betrayal never seems to come from an enemy

and people can only simulate empathy.


Which is how, she learned to be cold and afferent

refusing to give their snide comments acknowledgement.

As long as she prevented them from crossing the line

that separated mock concern and affection that is benign.


In truth, it is all too easy to just survive

but the hardest part is living, and not to deprive

yourself of the ability to care and be cared for,

instead of treating the people around you like a chore.

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