This sweet, short poem by Derek Walcott is about coming back to yourself after a love is lost, after love has ended, but I think it can also be about “giving back your heart to itself” when you’ve strayed from honoring your own feelings, dreams, or goals, or you’ve given away too much of yourself to work or others’ demands, or you’ve simply forgotten to take good care of yourself.
LOVE AFTER LOVE
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.