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  • Writer's pictureCheryl

A Poem for the Melancholy Muses

Updated: Aug 9

<< Inspired by these song lyrics, I wrote the following poem about unrequited heartbreak >>

When you're at the end of the road And you lost all sense of control And your thoughts have taken their toll When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul Your faith walks on broken glass And the hangover doesn't pass Nothing's ever built to last

- 21 Guns by Green Day

What do you do when your broken heart heals with time, only to be coaxed by a delusion, re-opened with kind but insincere deceiving words, until then at last it breaks again?

How do you do life again?

How do you move forward again?

You know he never saw you that way. Why wasn’t that reassurance of empty return enough?

Why, after all the days and weeks and months that passed, did you go back?

When he talks to you, the words are at once healing and destroying…

Like a placebo, he is full of proclamations, but it lacks the substance to deliver.

So then… what is wrong with you that you go back?

One apology, one glimpse of feeling, and you give up your mind and run back?

Why do you go back to him?

Now all your thoughts are spoiled again.

The beat of your heart is saddened again.

Your spirit and joy feel broken again.

One smile tomorrow and no doubt you’ll believe him… only to come back to the pain of realizing that your joy was a delusion.

The entire time was a delusion.

Why are you surprised at your heartbreak?

To be truthful, you never were.

You know at the core that this moment of happiness wasn’t real.

It was built on a dream, fantasy.

A shallow hope that if you looked between the lines, you would find a whisper of reciprocation, a notion of feeling.

How gullible you are to keep dreaming.

You were kidding yourself.

All your heart does is trick you into forgiving and believing.

All your mind does is remind you—over and over and OVER—of the mistakes you made, and how pathetic you are for falling for them.

Your little brain spins around and around until you have no more energy to tell it “STOP!”

All the while, the pieces of your bandaged heart rip their desperate seams apart until you're sunken to the floor.

How is he? Surely fine. He never felt for you that way, so why should that change now?

Why should you care?

Why can’t you just be unjustifiably mad and leave it at that, move on from there?

Why can’t you find contentment in the loneliness?

Why do you still get so easily swayed when he says your name?

Why do you still have to feel at all?

But no.

Instead, you’re addicted and he’s the nicotine.

No cigarette ever felt bad for the cancer it caused.

Now it’s just your turn to be the “crazy” one-- because it’s crazy to feel the rejection and the sadness over what was never yours to begin with.

Make no mistake:

None of this was ever yours to begin with.

He was never yours to begin with.



“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”

~ Lamentations 3:21-24

Having unrequited feelings or a one-sided heartbreak is something I have dealt with a lot (and still do). Usually when I’m lamenting, somewhere along the way my words gradually become hopeful. As of now, I still haven’t reached that place yet. This is where faith becomes hard. It requires me to do that which takes every ounce of my effort— I have to trust in the Lord’s goodness and give myself grace enough to hurt. I have to read and be reminded of what is true and unchanging, which is that my God has steadfast love and compassion for His children. I’m not yet at a place where I can hold my hopes and hurts so loosely, but God is good because He does not force this. Rather, His grace is abounding. Where my faith is in a season of “walking on broken glass,” He patiently guiding open my hands so that, one day, I can once again rejoice in the surrender.

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