Here is my heart, shrouded in thick
cloaks and fortified behind tall walls.
It now sleeps in the lap of darkness
snug and sheltered from the unknown.
The palace of ice is its home and
everything around it is frozen, damp, impenetrable.
Not even the warmest sunshine could get
this far and deep into the realm of murky waters.
The muscles have hardened with age, the blood
barely makes it in and out of the doors.
As brittle as glass it had become, afraid
that it will shatter into pieces in someone's hands.
Never leave this place, it kept chanting these
words for years now, content with the cold.
But did it really want to stay here all its life
fearing and shunning everything outside its cavern?
Here you are, explorer of the distant worlds and
seeker of treasures that are worth more than gold.
Your strange maps have somehow revealed my
whereabouts that were kept secret all this while.
What made you take this path, I wonder, you
could've gone anywhere but you chose this route.
Thrice you knocked on my doors;
I was almost there, ready to unbolt and unlock.
Wait, said the heart, don't let that person in;
what if they hurt me, we don't want that now, do we?
But you stood there waiting for me to open up,
chiseling sculptures out of the ice to amuse yourself.
Little chinks were now forming in the walls;
at last, your perseverance has amazed me.
Maybe it would do no harm to peep out for a second,
I said to the heart, but was I really sure?
Here we are, standing on either side of the cracks,
fumbling to strike a conversation.
The heart raced around at full speed, no amount
of constant reassurance could calm it down.
It was then I heard you telling me stories about the places
you've gone to and the memories you made there.
Your voice thawed my heart, the blood rushed in it
and started making music inside me.
I sat down listening and the sun started to sink,
orange, red, pink, purple, the heart stared at the sky.
You taught it how to laugh, how to cry, how to
get hurt, how to heal, how to forgive and how to love.
The heart never felt so exposed yet safe, timid
yet composed, vulnerable yet at peace with itself.
Now when it opens the windows to breathe in some
fresh air, I ask it - since when did you get so brave?