11 January 2013

In Matters of the Heart...

Is nothing more
Than a battle-riddled flag
Wrapped tightly
Around a person trying
To hide a naked need
From the cold. 

Inevitably someone comes along and offers to share his own good blanket.

The one shivering in the flag
May balk
Because it's a cold world;
The holes in the flag attest to that.

The shiverer may lift his chin,
Stiffen his neck,
Set hard his chattering teeth,
Hunch further into the rags,
Hiding, behind eyes of steel,
The chilling thought...knowledge...fear
 That he is not worth the attention.

What could the warm one really want?

Besides, there certainly isn't enough fabric
To go around.

But eventually, maybe,
The freezing one will allow himself,
Poised to flee
With every step,
To edge toward
The blanket—

Will dare one last-ditch experiment
At the human hope-need that perhaps the offerer
Really does see something special–
Something worth the attention–
In him, 

That the blanket
Will not be snatched away
At the last second as a joke,
That no further hole
Will be ripped in his
Precious, heatless flag
In an unguarded moment—

And he will find, to his
Utter surprise,
That not only does the blanket
Drape around him,
But that it
To envelop them

That the warmth he feels
Is only compounded
By the warmth the owner radiates
Toward him. 

The eyes of steel may sheen
At this shared warmth
After such
A stubborn, frigid—


The once-cold one
Will look at the now-friend
And embrace him
With all the might and heart
Left in his shivering body

As the battle flag crumples
To the ground.

Then, as he warms
And gains his strength,
He will look around,
Over the cold trenches,
And search until he too
Finds someone else
To wrap his arms around.

Because he has learned—

The secret to the blanket
Is the heat generated within it.

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