It’s not like misplacing the car keys
or forgetting your mother’s address.
You know it’s impossible to actually lose
the heart working so hard in the chest,
resting for only the slimmest of instants
between beats. Yet you wake some days
patting empty pockets, digging through
every drawer in the house, searching
under the bed and couch. In the space
of a night, the hope that burned bright—
flowing like a medicine in your veins—
can drain from the body, leaving you
bereft in bed and getting up only
to bathe yourself in the sickly light
of the fridge, the glow of screens.
Yet you can trust that the heart never
goes far, never abandons you for longer
than you can handle. You might be
driving to work one stormy morning,
scowling at every car that passes you
when it happens again—that sudden
leap in the chest as you see the rain-
slick blacktop shining blue in places
where it gives back the sky, and then
you’re anchored again in that faithful
rhythm by which you love the world.
Losing heart is an expression we are all familiar with, those times of deep discouragement. I dare say this is a time in history when many of us are feeling that things are falling apart, that we are losing what we thought was normal and for the most part, desirable. So we lose heart, and we find it again, as this poem reminds us.
Crews likens this loss to everyday things like our keys or an important address,even though You know it’s impossible to actually lose / the heart working so hard in the chest. It can happen that sometimes your bright hope – flowing like a medicine in your veins, deserts you, leaving you bereft. Like all good poets, Crews reminds us you can trust that the heart never / goes far; you have not been abandoned.
There will come a moment in the midst of feeling dispirited when you will feel that sudden / leap in the chest at the sight of some natural beauty, perhaps the sky reflected in a glassy puddle, a persistent curb-crack flower, the musical trill of a redwing blackbird, or any number of such uninvited but so very welcome sights and sounds. This is what anchors you again in that faithful rhythm by which you love the world. May something today give you that sudden leap of your heart that helps you find it each time you lose it.