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The shape of a heart

that's not a heart!
Posted by on February 14, 2014

This is day 16 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 15: “Dedicated hashtags on Twitter”


So, my heart is swelling quite a bit because I’ve been unable or unwilling to write poetry much over the last handful of years. I can admit that purging the negative feelings and pain felt much easier in poems. My happiness felt too big to let out; I feared sounding cheesy or trite. My pain I knew well. It fueled my creativity and allowed me to express the things I needed to get out.

But, I’ve been carrying this poem around for a few weeks. Lines emerging here and there. And I wanted to finish it and let it out. For the man who is shaped like my heart. Not because it’s Valentine’s Day, but because he makes every day one where I can be myself and look forward to living.


that's not a heart!

I love you Russell Eldridge. You are the shape of my heart.


The shape of a heart


A box of chocolates cannot contain my love for you.

That box isn’t the shape of a heart, and I never needed something

that would melt so easily.


No rose should symbolize my love for you. Hearts aren’t shaped like flowers,

and I never wanted something that would wilt within a week.


No matter how heart-shaped, never minding how sweet,

the shape I mean to keep changes.


In our flexible space, we grow. Like the shape of a heart.


When we started, you stood on stage,

heart calloused and little bit bruised.

I listened with a notebook clutched to my chest,

covering the shape of my heart.


You curled your long fingers around

the neck of a 7-string guitar, and

changed from chords to the notes

that excited movement in my pen.


The pregnant distance between song and writer shrank

as we sat closer on the couch.

We weren’t just watching Star Wars,

we were redefining our dreams.


Talks of touring turned into turning:

the guest room into playroom,

the basement into studio.


The sky shifted and the clouds opened,

raining down drops of joy

that we named.


We actively ignored our Valentine’s Day,

which marked exactly one week together

Feb. 7, 2008.

I solidly staked you;

sold you on the idea

of marrying me.


We planned a life together

rather than watched

as roses wilted. Instead of

emptying a box, we filled a house.


Our sixth Valentine’s Day will cruise by,

reminding us that our fifth wedding anniversary

is exactly one month away.


In all this time, I couldn’t tell you

how many tubes of toothpaste we squeezed,

but working together to push the contents to the top. We crafted

the perfect metaphor for love.


And that love doesn’t fit inside a box.

Love isn’t shaped like a heart and

no heart shape can recreate

what we’ve stocked inside our souls.


Our minds melted together,

seeds grew into children.

We’ll keep squeezing the toothpaste

to the top and living each day for each other.

Looking forward to the symbolic days we’ve made together. Because

That’s the shape of a heart.




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