Wearing one's heart on one's sleeve
isn't all it's cracked up to be
at least my heart
an inarticulate fellow
is wont to bellow.
Not with wagging tongue
for it has none
but by making my blood run cold
when me it wishes to scold.
But what really tries our common soul
is when some old woman bold
approaches on the street, saying,
"Look at this hearty fellow with such a healthy glow
I've just the thing to keep him so."
She'll pull out a pink baby bonnet then
which she'll wrap around my now quickly pumping organ
which, if it had a mouth
would take her hand off at her elbow.
Thanking her kindly
I'll hurry away
but not before my heart has made my blood start to boil.
But there are other things harder still
for one who would wear his or her heart on their sleeve
for when I try and lie
my heart begins to gasp and wheeze
in a way that belies my lie.
But what can be hardest of all to bear
is when I try and tell another, "I love you",
when my heart doesn't agree.
How it'll turn black then there on my sleeve
and rattle and sigh
until I withdraw that particular lie.
But harder still is when I say "I love you"
and the one I speak to turns away.
How my heart then turns ashen and cold
and how it cries
even though it doesn't have eyes
tears of blood that run red on my cheeks
not rosy now or red
but cold, pale, and dead.
So think twice
before you decide to wear your heart on your sleeve
for sometimes it is best to grieve
in the privacy of one's own heart
alone but free
unseen by cold, prying eyes
and hands that would put a pink knit cap over one's grief
and tell you things are all better now
all better all better all better.
Just another lie one's heart will always belie
when it wishes to grieve.
Bill Johnson is the author of A Story is a Promise and The Spirit of Storytelling, a writing workbook. He is also the web master of storyispromise.com, a web site that explores principles of storytelling through reviews of popular movies, books and plays. Spirit is now available on Amazon Kindle, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004V020N0.
Follow Bill on Twitter .bjscript