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it was the most precious thing
anyone had ever given me
it met a need that nested
in the very soul of my heart’s lair
and here i was, unable to
receive it, treasure it, cherish it,
to let it begin to heal the broken place
where it had been laid

the shame of not being worthy
was overwhelming and drove me back
to my nest where I sat alone shaking in the dark
the need to repay consuming,
to buy the gift instead —
the need permeated everything I did
like campfire smoke from rotten logs

and little by little the stench began to overtake
the sweet perfume of the gift itself
and I cried because i couldn’t be what i felt i should
in repayment for this beautiful gift

i reacted instead of responding
i pushed away instead of embracing
screaming, no! take it away! i don’t deserve it!
yet all the while my heart was clinging to the hope
that maybe, just maybe I did,
that maybe I didn’t need to earn it after all

but no, here i sit in my darkened nest
wreaking of smoke, need, embarrassment,
afraid I have estranged that gentle heart
who saw me through eyes of goodness

and I am despairing

if affection and kindness
can’t heal those broken places
what hope have i
of dragging the nest by myself
into the light where the twigs
can sprout green and healthy
into a place of safety and peace
where i can become whole

history has such an unforgiving way
of repeating itself…