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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Stitching up the Chink

Guys are NOT raised to get all emotional where I grew up. We're Scots and Saxons, not limp-wristed Frenchies. We put on our emotional armor before we go out of a morning. But it's all a front. We scions of the warrior-poet races also know that writing poetry attracts women. That's why, at first, that we tuck a pen into our belts beside our sword.

The flip side of being a poet is that the act of creating poetry opens up that soft spot we've all been protecting with the armor (I personally think it's also the manly knees). It's like wearing a chain mail shirt and a kilt. Women are drawn to that perceived vulnerability in strong men. Good ones are drawn, but then so are the other sort and, it seems, they are drawn in larger numbers. Or perhaps the romantic poets are right and soulmates are indeed most rare.

Let's face it, most guys don't find the missing half of themselves we were created without. Otherwise the divorce rate would not be so high. I looked for years and could not find her. The train of not-hers I encountered managed to stab me enough times through that poetic chink in my armor, until I was, at last, driven to my knees. And while I was there I prayed.

And in His mercy God answered. She is my world. She fits in places where I did not know I had places. Forty-five years later, our bodies worn and wrinkled, I still see in her eyes that fiery Scots-Irish-Indian girl I married. The one who gave me purpose and the strength to do those manly things I was raised to do. Because of her I stitched the chink in my armor with her, tucked neatly inside where I can keep her safe. She is the gift by which I know that God is good.

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