If, at this moment …

If, when your woman is raging at you,
you can stand and love her,
and breathe in her fury

If you can recognise your own failings,
and stand and face her, and say,
‘You deserve to be loved much more
than I can do right now. I’m sorry.’

If you can see how her broken state
is shaped by the way you punish her
with your resentment and absence,
and promise to stop that,
and start loving her

If you can recognise that your closed-off heart
is failing to love her, but you promise to yourself
that you will at least manifest
kindness and gratitude and appreciation

If you can stop expecting her
to behave like a business partner,
sign a contract to behave more reasonably,
and keep to it

If you can recognise how all your patterns
of running from her are driven by your fear,
and, instead, stay, and face her, and love her,
in spite of the fear

If you can stop seeing yourself as a victim
of her incomprehensible moods,
but take action to enter the situation,
and shape it with love and humour

If you can face up to your own guilt
over what you have done and failed to do
over the years, and return to the scene,
and make amends

If you can animate your rigid body,
and twirl her round the kitchen,
and bring a smile to her reluctant face

…then you’ll be a man, my friend.

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