Dear Lover, Do you fear what I fear?

Love doesn’t come the way it once did: a loud patron pushing open an unhinged door and allowing in the evening’s bluster, announcing the need for a seat though no reservation shows on the books.

Love isn’t invited the way it once was: by an exposed and impressionable hostess granting not permission but giving always forgiveness, carving out space where none exists to avoid an empty room.

Dear lover, I watched you approach. I required you to enter politely and intentionally. I asked you to leave the storm of untruths and misspoken promises at the door. I allowed you to tour the facility, identifying the fragilities and off-limit spaces. I kindly asked you to leave, and not return.


Determined to get a seat,

and not any seat but the coveted one near the open center of the place,

you insisted on inquiring time after time

until eventually the reservation book cleared and you appeared.



Now you’re here. The place continues to bustle around you and yet you remain, firmly holding onto that which you sought. I watch you, as I hurry about to greet responsibility and serve others who hold stake. I seek you, as I stumble with a stack of challenges or a mind full of voided memories. I invite you into the off-limit spaces, not to repair but to observe.

There’s space for us both, and you have yet to extinguish the flame that burns openly at the center of this place.

You are not the patron and I am not the hostess. We are both the makers, the creators. We are both the takers, the imbibers.

We create compassion. We imbibe on promises.

As any busy place, with shared responsibilities and exposed fragilities, ours sometimes crowds out the quiet moments. At these times when I mistake your presence for that of the unwelcome patron, my eyes see yours with concern and interrogation.

I want to know how you got here, what you plan to do with the stake you have claimed.

You see me with these same eyes. You share these same fears. You know this same story.

For, in the moments when I do not see with compassion and immersion, I cringe.

I cringe for the unknown, the times yet to come. Fearing the day promises end, replaced with self-promotion and self-protection.

I cringe for the unsaid, the words I choose to withhold. Fearing those words will reveal my affection is stronger, my commitment tighter, my denial deeper than yours.

I cringe for the untold, the chapters of your story I may never peruse. Fearing the contents would cause me to push you out had I known, had you shared.

Love enters now into a place more aware of guests who may ransack the offerings, knowing not the care and attention put into each morsel. I welcome your arrival, the days yet to come and words still to be spoken and truths forever to be revealed.

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  1. […] post was first published on October 15 in response to a writing prompt by Nary Ordinary Business […]

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