Mini Issue Work

My Purple Heart

By Meg McDonald
Irony runs thick through my narrative;
One way or another, I always end up here.
I send a red heart, it whispers "I love you,"
He returns a purple one, "but not like that."

A purple heart is awarded to service members
Who have been injured or killed in service.
So perhaps a purple heart makes sense,
It honors my wounded soul and bloodshot eyes.

My tear stained cheeks and my crippled confidence,
My shattered standards and my hope worn thin.
My anger, my fear, my anxiety, and grief.
I have rightfully earned this honor for my injuries.

Perhaps even my heart itself is purple.
It's been bruised and beaten senseless; 
Gone dark as the oxygen leaked from its veins.
Its throbbing has become my only pulse.

To many, I have become an object of pity,
Something I'm sure many purple heart recipients
Fear they'll become as well. Nobody wants 
To cope with pain, least of all someone else's.

With men, I love you is a loaded phrase,
Ten-fold since "I love you's" pour from every inch of me. 
My stories, my laugh, my questions, my sobs,
They all proclaim, "I love you, I thought you should know."

My love is never suppressed, I don't even try. But then again, 
Even if I could remain quiet, why would I want to?
To whom could I owe my silence against my will?
"Listen to my pain," I scream, "it exists for you."

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