Poetry & Art


I have this sweater
With a heart on its sleeve
I often wonder if others have the same one
Or if it’s only me.

I did nothing to acquire this sweater
Buy it, knit it, seek it – I did not
One day, I just woke up
And in its threads, I was locked.

About this sweater
With the heart on its sleeve
I love how its range is vast
Infinite outfits I can achieve

Sometimes it is my hero piece
The best of anything I could have worn
Sometimes it makes me believe in myself
Despite any judgment or scorn

At times it isn’t easy
Because anyone looking can see
Sometimes the heart will glow
But other times, it will bleed

Some ensembles I wear better than others
Some moreso wear me
But somehow I still can’t remove
My sweater with the heart on its sleeve

Sometimes it weighs me down
Sometimes it’s the warm hug that I need
Sometimes I wish I could actually hide
That heart on my sweater sleeve

On the nights my tears won’t hold
Much as I wish to be strong
With the heart on my sweater sleeve
I know it won’t be long

Feelings I wish to cover
Are worn like the clothes on my back
And I’m terrified to look at myself
For the mirror just might crack

But one time my sister saw me
Walked right past my bedroom door
Until she found me in my heart-sleeved sweater
Wrestling it to the floor

I urged her not to look at me
Lest she see the heart on my sleeve
My sister paused and said something
I work every day to believe.
She said, “This sweater is your greatest accessory.
Though, I can see, it’s your heaviest load.
It’s one of my favorite things about you,
Have you never been told?

With your heart on your sleeve
You can’t hide your rainy days, sure.
But in even the smallest moments of joy and happiness
Your sunshine is so pure.

It’s a ray of light that warms the ones around you
Who otherwise have been in the dark
The light from the heart on your sleeve
Helps to reignite their spark.

This sweater is a strength.
It allows you to share yourself and inspire us
Though I understand
Wearing your heart on your sleeve
can come with such a fuss.

You wear it beautifully
But I must remind you of something true
Don’t forget that you wear the sweater,
The sweater doesn’t wear you.”

It’s so funny
I could’ve said the same thing about her
The way my sister opens up
And gives her heart more and more

In these moments I think back
And suddenly I remember
My sister handed me her heart
Right from the sleeve on her sweater

At times I thought I was alone
That it was only me with a heart-sleeved sweater
In a pleasantly surprising twist
It attracts those of the same feather

Now from time to time
I can pause and take my sweater off
But only for moments to reacquaint myself
As a reminder that I’m the boss

I set it gently on a chair
Just across the room
We exist presently as partners
Knowing that together, we bloom

I put it back on
And I truly feel like me
Because I don’t think I would be
Without my sweater
and my heart on its sleeve.


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