I told myself no more would I afford
the privilege of giving away my
I spent endless hours, dragging
HEAVING these colossal
wrought-iron chains around it.
Thrice around and wrapped in
a pretty, padlocked bow,
reminiscent of a
pre-pubescent diary, complete
with its KEEP OUT
I presented myself as an oxymoron.
I presented myself as a deterrent.
I presented myself as semi-available.
On certain days,
I presented myself as desperate for
a hand to come reaching through the chains,
already blessed with the key, and
snap his capable fingers and the
weight would suddenly be lifted.
I really did want that.
And I so completely did not want to want that.
One day, I cracked open my own lock and
left my pages to flit in the breeze.
The next, regretting the decision, I
crafted an archer’s shield, took it
everywhere I went
that THAT would not happen again,
Every stolen glance, every vigorous kiss,
every text message, meeting palm and
regardless of my perfunctory attempt to
evade that frisson that appears in the
pit of my stomach with every
chiselled away at my pathetic shield, and I
became a defenceless pawn in
the centre of love’s battlefield.
And I could’ve screamed.
I broke my own broken promise
and how curious that it has
since made me feel nothing short
Art by Jennifer van der Merwe