A Heart Locked in a Tower

There’s something beautiful
And devastating
About a heart locked
In a tower.

It’s safe, but does it beat?
It risks nothing and loses

No oppressive forces there to
Smother and snuff
The tender golden flame inside,
No fuel to make it shine brightly,
It sits like an enormous hearth with only
Smouldering embers and licks of flame
To warm it.

I sit at the base of the tower.
An ancient frightened woman guards it,
Feverishly folding,
With clawed desperate fingers,
Of paper air planes
And sending them into the sky.
None make it inside.
She never sleeps,
She sits in a bitter pool of
Regrets and missteps.
Looking forever upward
She never notices that the pool
Is shallow, and requires only
The will to leave,
To move on.

As shallow as it is,
None can cross.

When I was younger I rode
An impossibly fast white mare.
Striking a galant pose,
I would have rode the woman down,
Climbed the tower,
And claimed
The heart.

But I am old now.
I gave my beloved mare back
To her mother
Long ago.
My hands have climbed so many towers,
My bones and joints say firmly,
I see what is
And I accept.

Even with this distance I feel
The heat,
That ephemeral and tender
Sweetness moving through my body.
Something deep within me yearns
To be so much
I imagine lightning striking
The tall tower
Setting that perfect heart
A gout of flame spills out and
Burns up all the cold wet regrets of
And an enormous dove with
The Heart inside goes
Sailing through
To experience all the seasons
Of love.

Not knowing the language of
The clouds, or the wind,
I sit on soft ground.
Full and satisfied, I rest here and wonder,
Will that sacred white Phoenix come
Out to fly with this owl?

Inside that bird is a song.
The song
Vast as the sky
Has gone unsung
Too long.
Too long have the humans been deprived,
glued to the ground, waiting
For that gust of life to uplift us.

Lightning risks it all.
I ask myself,
Am I willing to do the same?

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