I know pain and fear both.
How deeply they sit in my heart.
How much more do I know these
Than love.

How deeply did I long for love.
I wept in its presence,
For I know of a world without it.
It is my shadow, this lacking,
But the light does not cease
Because the shadow is present.

Love does not cease
Because wounded hearts
Did not know how to give
What they themselves
Never knew.

It is true my loves,
Love is real.
It can seem dangerous because
What is given in the guise
Of love
Demonstrably wounds,
Breaks trust,
And builds walls so high,
That when anything comes near
Wounded hearts send
Arrows upon it for fear
It is the danger once more.

It is wise to protect our
Beating hearts from this pain
But not if it keeps real love from
Entering our ruinously damaged
Domain, because
Love repairs.
Love lifts us above walls.
Love heals in patient kindness,
Waiting for when we are ready
To take down the battlements
To store the canons once more
To send our army home,
To trust.
Real love always waits.
And is always truly inside of ourselves.

If love is already inside these walls
We can find it waiting
We can rebuild our kingdom
From within.
We can learn to love each brick
So much that
We learn what love is
And how to begin
To trust
If not for the first time,
Then again.

-Angel Marie Russell

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