Troubles of the Heart

Troubles of the Heart

A Chapter by Debbie Barry

Written in 11th grade, a poem of teen angst, friendship, and love. Not my finest moment.


Troubles of the Heart

July 24, 1985

I seem to be unable
To make my feelings known
Without eternally saying
That which should not be said.

I try so hard to tell him
That I can understand
His feelings of reluctance
At being more than friends.

I want so much to tell him,
But in my nervousness
I seem to speak and speak and speak,
And forget to think things out.

I messed it up when my chance came
To tell him how I felt;
I blundered through, and scared him off
By saying stupid things.

I hinted at the way I felt,
While boldly putting forth
A shield of asinine subtleties,
That were subtle as a sneeze.

He knew that I had feelings
That I could not speak aloud;
I told him every way I could
That I loved him the way he was.

He took these words for what they said,
Though not for what they meant -
He read love as love and we as us,
Rather than as friendship and friends.

I never meant to hurt him -
I never meant to cry -
But now the past seems over,
And I've not the strength for more.

I've tried so hard, for ever so long
To make him understand;
I want to make the us we are
The us for ever more.

But I'm just a romantic, tender of heart,
Who believes in this time
That one word exists out of four-letter ban
Whose meanings cause more harm than the others.

I have allowed myself pain, vulnerability;
I have been hurt and lived with the pain;
This I have brought upon my own self,
But this time the hurt is the worst.

I don't understand the ancient subtleties
Of courtship and coquetry, though I do understand
That I love this one with all my heart
And intend that he shall know my meanings.

I've been a fool, but what else is new?
I always have played the fool with him -
I was an idiot not to tell him
That he was the center of my existence.

I have learned to live without his presence,
But I have found that such life is dull;
I want him in my life to lead and guide me,
I need his strength to bear my weakness.

He knows my feelings, deep in his heart -
It must only be me that keeps us apart;
Long ago I learned that I must never conform,
but now I find myself considering it.

He would hate me if I changed,
But he must soon hate me as I am now;
How can I tell him how I truly feel,
If I can hardly deal with it myself?

I find that my feelings
Are mixed on this point -
I love him as brother over those I may claim,
And I feel ever more deeply for him in my soul.

Why can I never tell him the truth?
Why must my feelings be shrouded in lies
And half-truths I barely admit to myself,
When all may be made right with three little words?

But I cannot say them - the world's greatest truth -
To the only one ever to be honest with me;
Somehow it would change things,
And I fear ever the worst.

I must make a decision, but I don't know how -
I must tell him one thing or the other:
Either that I can never see him again, or,
Truthfully, tell him I love him.

This decision is not mine alone,
Every woman for eons has made it:
To reject love forever and live with the lie,
Or accept love and live with the pain.

I choose the pain, for it is pain that I know,
I choose the course of almighty truth;
I soon will tell him of my feelings for him
In English as plain as can be.

I love this one and never shall lose him -
I defy any woman to change that;
He can turn his back, he can walk away,
But I hold part of him in my soul.


© 2017 Debbie Barry

Author's Note

Debbie Barry
I wrote this when I was 16. I apologize. Initial reactions appreciated.

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on November 8, 2017
Last Updated on November 8, 2017
Tags: poem, poetry, friend, friendship, relationship, conflict, angst, love, alienation, isolation

My Childish Poetry


Debbie Barry
Debbie Barry

Clarkston, MI

I live with my husband in southeastern Michigan with our two cats, Mister and Goblin. We enjoy exploring history through French and Indian War re-enactment and through medieval re-enactment in the So.. more..