You came to me a welcome thief,
I have no one to blame.
I held a foolish, firm belief
that I’d remain the same.

In innocence, you swept aside
the wards I’d put in place
and sentenced me to life, untried,
before I saw your face.

You stole my treasured fearlessness
despite my hardened guard.
I’m torn in ways I can’t express
or wholly disregard.

Ferocious, this intensity
and fraught with heavy cost.
The certainty that I will be
destroyed if you are lost.

No threat to me in all my years
produced this sense of dread.
A creeping tide of morbid fears
adrift within my head.

It hides behind my every smile
and lurks in broken rest;
insidious, infused with guile,
a weight upon my chest.

Your pain transferred and magnified,
your tears an awful blow.
Your peril leaves me petrified,
but you can never know.

© 2016 Mike Porter

Photographer, Don Shiel