Mired as I am in my endless science fiction novel project, I had not been paying too much attention to the relatively few submissions I have out. Also, I thought everyone would be too busy with the holidays to get responses out right now. And finally, this poem is rather light, and after I had rattled it off, I was skeptical that it would find favor with anyone but me. It was all the more pleasant a surprise, therefore, to receive a brief email notifying me that the new journal, Nevermore, will be publishing “Why did I lose my heart so easily?” in the next few weeks.
This poem was one of the ones arising from the unpleasant experience I wrote about here. I have done a lot of what therapists call “work” since that disillusionment, and I understand better how growing up with a mother who fit the criteria for borderline personality disorder and a father who was kind but not a kid person might have predisposed me to form unwise attachments. But I wrote the poem while I was figuring this out, and anyway, I think most young people probably form some unwise attachments, so the title question isn’t answered in the poem, and there may be no real answer. The important thing is to learn from heartbreaks, which I did, and am still doing.
Neither the poem nor my experience reveals any foolproof way of guarding the heart, either. If there is one, I doubt I could adopt it. As the poem implies, a heart too guarded just seems cold to me. Instead, I ended up with my husband through trials and errors, by learning but also sheer luck. As I told him the other day, the bar was high by the time I met him. He is kind, and we are happy together.
Here’s hoping that you, too, have found kind people to spend the holidays with. Cheers.
*Paraphrasing Lady Bracknell, in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.