I keep track of all the days in between;
the ones when you don’t say you love me.
And during those days,
my heart beats a little less enthusiastically,
the sighs are a little longer,
and my shoulders slump a little more.
Sometimes the longing and the aching
can be almost unbearable.
But then I think back to all the times
when those three little words
were never spoken at all;
all those years filled
with such a lonely longing in my chest.
I know I will never be in that place again
because you always remind me of that
with your steadfast presence every day.
And when that realization hits me,
that you’re not leaving me,
I’m finally able to stop myself from falling,
cradling my mind, and finding comfort
in my own embrace.
It’s in that nurtured state
that I somehow find a way to let go
of the demons which harbor my weary discontent.
And eventually, that nagging feeling
starts to evaporate, disintegrating bit by bit
in every relaxing exhale,
calming a little more in every deep breath.
I’m never quite the same, though,
as my own strength can never carry me
all the way through.
And so I wait patiently until you’re here again,
reminding me that love is more than words.
But because you know I need to hear it,
you expose your stubborn soul to me,
finally giving in to my neediness.
And that’s when my heart explodes
in reassured joy
because your loving words mean everything to me.
And even though I already know you love me,
the reminder frees my soul and refuels my spirit.
© 2021 Michelle Cook