A thousand times my heart has died,
Broken down and crushed inside.

I.
The first, a mortal wound was dealt,
Claymore-sized its stab had felt.
Protected walls of my own heart
Chose I to be torn apart.
Exposed to all, I risked this ache
Hoping you my heart would take.
Instead was dealt a crushing blow,
Received a friendly, honest no.
We said goodbye in quiet pain
Later hoped to try again.
Then later came with healing’s balm
Passing relatively calm
Until another heart you found.
Little hope I had was drowned.
This second wound perhaps far worse
Hope from blessing to a curse.
To think another has your kiss,
Else enjoying you with bliss.
Another has your heart and love
Pleasures you to heights above.
So selfish this is what I feel
Never wanting an appeal:
To ne’er be born to see the light
Better gone than live with blight,
To choke in pain and burn with rage
Knowing it won’t heal with age.

II.
But ages passed with calmer days
Some of which were in a haze.
The day did finally advance
Giving love second chance.
I found someone to give my heart
Trusting in this brand new start.
In vows and marriage I began
Following in life’s new plan.
But one month in, I saw a change
Witnessed things so very strange.
From kind to mean, from kiss to yell,
Bliss to fear and heav’n to hell.
The alcoholic bitterness,
Violence and recklessness.
I saw the pain and felt it, too,
Receiving anger’s daily due.
These countless wounds a constant pierce,
Routine dose of furies fierce.
So, not a single fatal hit,
Death by hundreds bit by bit.
With children now, no choice that I’ve
But to cope and just survive.
I hoped that you had found success,
Joyful in your happiness.

III.
In vain I’d hoped. So came a call
Telling of a brutal brawl.
You’d crashed your car while trying to drive
To urgent care, half-alive.
You told police that every wound
Was from impact when you swooned.
I saw the truth when I arrived:
Punches that you scarce survived.
And yet you constantly denied
That you could have truly died.
An oaf behind the wheel, you claimed,
Covering your face, ashamed.
So sorry I for everything,
Joy to you I couldn’t bring.
At least, you said, some peace you know,
Living hell your marriage though,
That I true happiness have found
Love and joy my life surround.
That shred of hope you held so tight
No denials came that night.
I walked away near screaming loud
Lost within the gathered crowd.
Another wound, it struck so deep,
Days on end I couldn’t sleep.

IV.
More years had passed when I was told
Calm you’d passed in winter’s cold.
Your heart gave out, the story went,
Strength to live was all but spent.
A final wound, I thought, the last
That I’d take before I passed.
But then a letter short arrived
Sent by you when you still thrived.
You wrote of pain and all despair
Burdens that you couldn’t bear.
And yet amidst your misery
Found you faith that none could see.
This Jesus spoke in holy writ
Guilt and sins, He did acquit.
And hope beyond the pains of life
Failures of each man and wife.
Yet marriage true to God above
Wrapped within His perfect love.
Your body lost, your health declined,
Living strong, though, in your mind.
With strength enough you wrote to me
That my pains were clear to see.
You knew the truth: we both were used,
Other people us abused.
Yet not alone, you said, were we,
One abused so violently.
That Jesus, He was sacrificed,
Then He rose to be our Christ.
His heart was pierced so ours would be
Healed from all severity.
And for our crimes this Jesus died
Suffering while crucified
To give true hope to broken souls
Making them completely whole.
This hope you found, you hoped I’d take
Olden ways I would forsake.
And then together we could be
Bound as one eternally.
My heart already made its choice,
Heard the Spirit’s urging voice.
For it was then I realized
Why my heart was pulverized.
A thousand times God stabbed my heart,
Crushed until it broke apart.
But so did yours; ours died to make
Space so Jesus then could take
The place of feeble, sinners’ hearts
So to mend our broken parts.
Secure am I in this you shared
Blessed beyond all else compared.
This God, this Jesus so I took
Olden ways I then forsook.
A thousand times now I can die
Knowing then to you I’d fly.

(Image by Torsten Dettlaff)

















More years had passed when I was toldCalm you’d passed in winter’s cold.Your heart gave out, the story went,Strength to live was all but spent.A final wound, I thought, the lastThat I’d take before I passed.But then a letter short arrivedSent by you when you still thrived.You spoke of pain and all despairBurdens that you couldn’t bear. And yet amidst your misery















More years had passed when I was toldCalm you’d passed in winter’s cold.Your heart gave out, the story went,Strength to live was all but spent.A final wound, I thought, the lastThat I’d take before I passed.But then a letter short arrivedSent by you when you still thrived.You spoke of pain and all despairBurdens that you couldn’t bear. And yet amidst your misery















Received a friendly, honest no.We said goodbye in quiet painLater hoped to try again.Then later came with healing’s balmPassing relatively calm