Heart and Heartache

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Heart and Heartache

by Madison Ezzell and Sam Keezell

Hearts hurt, the world is hurt.
There are broken, broken things.

I want to spread love, to write love notes on the fresh soft concrete and wilting abandoned buildings

I am so empty – there is so
Much fix-it in my veins but fix-it
Can’t fix all this pain.
And sometimes I feel lonely, feel
The world forgets its broken streets,
Broken people, broken dreams.
Sometimes I feel as if lives and love are forgotten in wasted days,
Feel I’m the only one who sees, who tries and strives to heal.

I’m sending love
through this mud
I patch the drywall with
through this trim
with which I frame windows and doors
through pink itchy insulation
Which will keep warm this soon-to-be home

I’m walking with love
Through these Big Easy streets
on these warm Mississippi shores
rubbled and torn by storms
                            by storms
                                     by storms

And yet I woke this morning
To a bright shining light.

I climbed the water table
stacked high as the floods that flooded crescent park
and looked out over the city
red and bleeding
purple and royal
filled with the glow of the setting sun

I woke to the voices of those come
To serve, they come with hands
Made to get dirty, with hearts so full of love
This city is their garden that they water with their love.
Their love is hammer and nails
Rebuilding hearts and homes broken twelve years ago
In a storm too strong
Their love is work hard and well,
With, without thanks.

I serve with love
Ladling Jambalaya and corn
For the hungry sojourners searching for truth
Who travel from all across this country god blessed and cursed
splintered and divided
blue sky and storm battered
They come
Because they haven’t forgotten those baptised
By the breached levees

Their love is beautiful and true – their love
Is making this world, this city, these people,
Me
New

I’m listening with love
to the words like doves that flutter to my ears
with every syllable the storytellers of the city utter into this world
these words are ambassadors of peace
they are pleas for action
They are both peaceful
and fierce
They peer at us through eyes that have seen
have witnessed
have felt promised lands and abandoned promises

I woke this morning and saw light in darkness,
Loving souls ready to mend their own brokenness
By serving others.
Their love is a gift from their patchwork hearts,
Broken and stitched together again and again,
Every day and every day, until the morning blooms
Over the river and the empty lots, over a cathedral spire,
Their love graces the city like the sunrise, every morning new.
Their love is an offering of hope despite grief,
A weapon against these long hard years.
Their love is God’s Love, shining through them
Like light through clouds and trees

I’m holding love
as I hold you, stranger
your stories all so new to me
but beautiful as this crescent city
cast in the last hallelujahs of dusk
this city, where crumbling concrete walls
become an artist’s playground
where music arises like flames from the broken remains of houses
where people left, and returned
for jazz bands that appear without warning
and perform their rhythm and magic in the streets
where lives connect and explode in a show of brilliant fireworks that spark spontaneously throughout this city
where poverty cries right next to riches,
             Cries that rarely reach these soundproofed lives
             But have made to the ears of these loving souls
             Coming ready to give, and receive

There is fix-it in my veins and theirs, and when I see them
I see me
Trying, striving
Loving, loved.

I love with my eyes
and my heart
the heartache
and the sparkling eyes
of New Orleans

Hearts hurt, the world hurts.
There are broken, broken things, but
I woke this morning and all I could see was love.

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