Unrequited Love, If You Will

“Kitty looked into his face, which was so close to her own, and long afterwards — for several years after — that look, full of love, to which he made no response, cut her to the heart with an agony of shame.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

“This early experience of mis-attunement, of the mother’s failure to empathize with her baby’s emotions and to mirror them back (perhaps because she’s depressed, self-absorbed or overwhelmed by her own emotional difficulties) — this misattunement produces shame.  Shame as the result of unrequited love, if you will.” ~ Joseph Burgo

She came up for air,

my intestines churning, and a heavy

heart.  My friend and I, silenced

in deep greeting, gave her

space she’d been craving.

Now that I know, I can say

I’ve often heard her knocking

belowdecks, iron-clad, deep

in the cold, dank hold.

It’s not fair, she storms.  If I

pictured her at all in my

inner salvage operations, it was

as a dreamer or a green heron

shy, cautious, beautiful

balance on a railing overlooking the water,

all of the safe exits plotted.  Alert, hungry,

focused on survival.  So I am swept

off my seat when she shouts

and wails, rages.  I feel pain

in my stomach, and now my temples

ache.  The green heron slips quietly

out of sight right before two great

blue herons battle for fishing rights.

No one functions in this upset.

The herons hiding, flying off

or standing ground.  No one is fed.

The scarcity is consuming us,

even as a big bass jumps and plops.

Quiet now.  Let’s look

in the deeps.  Let’s see what

will nourish us all.  Let’s give voice to the

silenced things we’ve accumulated

inside.  Let’s finally be fair.


Inspired by SalvageDreamer and Unrequited


Published by

Victoria Stuart

I'm a poet, philosopher and inner seeker. A giver, lover and a healer who studies the heart.

One thought on “Unrequited Love, If You Will”

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