I Need to Know

I need to know I am loved
Far beyond coffee in the morning and a favorite meal.
I need eyes looking at me as if there is no other left on earth
Words to tell me why I have been chosen from all the rest.
I need caresses, love notes, an arm locked in mine,
Fingers on my face, hands brushing back my hair.
I am strong only in my capacity to endure pain,
In my determination not to be overwhelmed by shadows that appear without permission and endure without reason.
I am strong in confronting the fears that match each decade of my life,
In not looking back with guilt and regrets,
In my persistent reassurance that all my dreams will be realized.
I am strong when it is essential to someone that I live,
Unthinkable that I die, unbearable that I disappear,
A love that goes all out without reservation or calculation,
A love of total trust and total loyalty,
A love that can last until I breathe my last breath and gaze my last gaze—at you,
When I am finally glad that I have lived
Because I know how much I have been loved.

—James Kavanaugh

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