Be Patient With Me

Photo by Madison Kleinrock-Andrews and Kleigh Balugo

By Madison Kleinrock-Andrews

Please be patient with me.

It will be a while 

before I let myself believe 

that we will last. 

My father 

left when I was a baby,

and the only boy

I’ve ever given my heart to 

didn’t appreciate it,

handed it back to me

covered in bruises

that haven’t fully gone away 

even though my feelings for him have. 

So know it’s not your fault 

that the painting I made 

on our first date 

still hasn’t been hung up in my room,

that I doubt the sincerity 

of your compliments,

that I talk about our future

using “if” instead of “when.”

You seem great—

you really do.

You show up on time,

remember small details from our conversations,

have a lot in common with me. 

But the last boy

seemed great too

in the beginning,

so I can’t help but worry

that your greatness 

is a facade. 

I want to completely trust someone,

to fall in love with someone, 

to build a future with someone.

I know that I can,

but you’ll have to be patient with me 

if that someone

is going to be you.

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