loving after the war years

i grow older
and move farther
and farther away

and yet my life
grows less
and less

there is no hiding
from the past
from family
from those who know me

and why should i
wish to hide

whatever weight
i have been trying
to escape–
could it not
be a foundation?

stronger, sturdier,
than what i can build alone?

i keep making new homes
all the time

i have learned to
always be ready
for leaving

all of it is in my blood

my dna is filled with
memories of working hard
and being quiet
to survive

i have inherited a sense
of always being
on the defense, ready
for attack
from outsiders
from within.

there is more than that
there is more than fear

there is also
the ability
to hold on
across long distances
to find family
again and again
to rebuild
to rebuild
to rebuild

again, and again
no matter where

to love you is
to want to love you
all the time

to love you better
i must let go of
what is not love
in myself