Love

Poem: Without Reservation

My winter cleaning unearthed an old notebook. I opened it to this poem from over a decade ago. I don’t think I’ve ever shared it and I certainly understand it better today than I did then. Perhaps because it has played itself out over the years.

I’ve been thinking –
perhaps I had an epiphany –
I thought of how I was willing,
begged God actually,
for the boon of being
with you. To my mind,
you were the greatest
possible gift.
Then it came to me
this desire to give, give, give,
to love you with all
my heart and mind
to worship and praise
your body with mine –
it was all wrong.
I was backwards.
I’ve been requesting things
which would not satisfy me
in the long run.
Yes, I want you.
Yes, truly I want all
I’ve petitioned God for.
I do. I love you.
But there is something I want
much more than the pleasure of
pouring my life into yours.
There is something I need more
than my prayer answered.
Something I deserve more than
being a giver who receives
nothing in return.

My epiphany showed me
that more than anything
I want and need to be loved and
desired unreservedly.
It showed me you should be
the initiator and I should follow.
When you give of yourself, cover me,
pour your life into me –
those will be my true gifts.
When you choose to love me
with your heart, mind and spirit…
choose to join your body with mine in a
symphony of worship and praise…
Those are acts worthy of my devotion.

I was sitting and thinking –
what I wanted was so limiting.
What I was shown would open the heavens.
My efforts have proven useless against your inaction.
So, my love, I must back away from temptation.
I must resist the urge
to supplicate myself at your feet.
Resist my obsessive longing and
suppress the desire to shower my gifts on
a man who does not value
or reciprocate such devotion.
I must resist that part of me until
you present that part of yourself to me.
Your gifts will replenish and revive
even as your presence restores.
Your love will cover
even as your strength shelters.
When you join your gifts to my gifts
it will indeed be our greatest blessing.

~ LaShawnda Jones, 2004 (ed. 2017)

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