by James Crews

Losing Heart

It’s not like misplacing the car keys
or forgetting your mother’s address.
You know it’s impossible to actually lose
the heart working so hard in the chest,
resting for only the slimmest of instants
between beats. Yet you wake some days
patting empty pockets, digging through
every drawer in the house, searching
under the bed and couch. In the space
of a night, the hope that burned bright—
flowing like a medicine in your veins—
can drain from the body, leaving you
bereft in bed and getting up only
to bathe yourself in the sickly light
of the fridge, the glow of screens.
Yet you can trust that the heart never
goes far, never abandons you for longer
than you can handle. You might be
driving to work one stormy morning,
scowling at every car that passes you
when it happens again—that sudden
leap in the chest as you see the rain-
slick blacktop shining blue in places
where it gives back the sky, and then
you’re anchored again in that faithful
rhythm by which you love the world.



Today my praise is as simple
as the rolled oats I scoop
from the can into a saucepan
of boiling water in which they
foam up at first, agitated
by the act of their surrender
to this new form. Likewise
the blueberries I mix in with
the steaming oatmeal, how they
yield to the heat, growing only
sweeter as I stir. Can this be
the lesson we too must learn,
this giving in to the circumstances
into which life drops us, here
on a planet where we’re taught
to stay armored and fight
against such softening?


Image by congerdesign from Pixabay