Love After Love

I’ve recently run across this poem, which (for the record) has essentially no bearing on my current life, or emotional condition, but struck me enough to be worth sharing, in that it touched me on some level. This is the kind of poem I would usually run from in discomfort – however, in this case, my emotional flightiness was mollified by the lesson intended (learned too late here), which is, as I choose to interpret it, to always know and care for yourself first, and never forget or neglect yourself even while giving to and caring for others.

A good reminder, as in relationships the heart has a tendency to run away and the head has a propensity for weak justification in allowing it to happen.

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

-Derek Walcott


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