As teenagers, we're told to control ourselves,
To stifle it and to suck it up.
We put our emotions in a closet
To let out when the big crises erupt.
The artistic types use their artistry;
The athletes push them into muscles.
This leaves the mere mortals among us
All this emotion with which to struggle.
We close our eyes and our hearts
Until sex or drugs intervene;
Thinking we are our most grown up
When our passions aren't seen.
It's okay to show our inner selves
If we are drunk with lust or intoxication;
But the feelings we show to each other
Are often, for sin, mistaken.
One who swears to hold your heart comes along
You flirt, then jump into the middle.
You don't know the tidal wave that will emerge
Once, with the barriers, you've fiddled.
Each of the couple crawls back to their own closet;
When they couldn't survive on each other alone.
They work, they talk, and play with others,
And, if they're lucky, bring some love back home.
But what of the starving that happens to women
Left alone with their pasts and their babes?
From whom do they draw their uplifting,
When their mate's only emotion is rage?
And what of the many crying mothers who
Lose their husbands to war and pursuit of money?
From whom do they draw needed emotion
When they have lost their relationship's closet key?
Once you have a baby, I have a hole in your heart,
A path for your passion the whole world to see.
It's different than any you've felt before;
It's a wound from which you'll never be free.
It's best to find friends, say the older folks,
But what about the baby at your breast?
She is fussy no matter how much you mother,
And stimulation gives her more unrest.
The old ladies say you're doing it wrong,
As your man goes further away;
He thought that this marriage stuff
Was going to offer more chances to play.
You feel the pain of other mother/wives,
As their families have endless need.
Their mates, too, are working night and day,
As your hearts continue to bleed.
Who comes to rock the babies
Without giving us more pain?
Who can possibly be with us
Until we're strong again?
Who will hold our men for us,
And send them back still chaste?
Who can give so much of themselves
Without falling out of grace?
We're told to read our scriptures,
And bow our heads in prayer;
That, in this way, we'll feel
How much our God still cares.
But if the body human is
Still attached to Heaven,
Aren't each one of us put on earth
Each other's pain to leaven?
We are dying for lack of loving touch
That is freely, chastely given.
The children of our loins are,
Like we, to each other driven.
Are our churches and our homes
Giving them instruction by our actions,
How to give of ourselves and our gifts,
How to positively channel our passions?
And what about compassion
For the mistakes of others?
Are we teaching them to gently
Confront our sisters and brothers?
Or are we continuing
To hide in our own closets
Hoping that time alone
Will help us to forget?
Are we sitting with each other
Sharing the depths of our hearts?
Or are we still isolated
When the crises start?