You don’t have to be loved

You don’t have to be loved.

You don’t have to be noticed.
You don’t have to have blood seeping from your heart,
arteries opened and veins cut.
You do not have to have a scowl on your face
for people to pay attention.
You don’t have to be dying
(or wanting to die)
for others to see.
You do not have to feel thorns
pressing into your head
for your lover to be uncomfortable enough
to stop and say to themselves

Are you OK?
What’s up?
You don’t look good to me.
Is anything the matter?
I wish you’d speak.
I am bothered,
it matters to me.”

You do not have to be silent
for your friend to say to you

What’s the matter?
You look rough.
You seem out of sorts?
You look awful.
What’s up?

You do not have to be loved.
You don’t have to run away.
You only have to let your body breathe.


Written after loving “Wild Geese
by my favourite living poet
Mary Oliver.

Published by

Paul O'Mahony

I'm Paul O'Mahony (Poet). On Twitter you can reach me @Omaniblog A father. I work as business storytelling consultant - Podcaster - Blogger - Live streamer via Periscope - Foodie - I love to connect with people. . Live in Glanmire, Cork Ireland Europe

4 thoughts on “You don’t have to be loved”

  1. Wow, im so glad i chose your periscope broadcast to watch Paul! Your a Fantastic Poet! This one particulaly touched me! Your New friend and Poetry Fan from Eastbourne!♢♢♢♢♢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marcus,
      why haven’t I replied to you sooner? How could I ignore such a lovely friendly appreciative message? How could I be so poor? The only good thing about such behaviour is that now (sitting in Camden Public Library in London) I am ever so grateful and looking forward to connecting with you often in future.
      Thank you ever so much


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