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Two kinds of bound’ries exist in one’s heart: 
One brings together, while one keeps apart.
“Put up your guard; reduce hurts unjust!”—
But too much defensiveness disconnects trust.
The delicate balance—”Build walls or let in?”—
Makes all the difference in friendships and kin.
We must strive to discern the justification
Of stoical distance and fortification.

Don’t misunderstand; we all have been broken,
And many a gripe need not ever be spoken.
There’s wisdom in holding back full-throated grumbling
Lest ensuing damages cause yet more stumbling.
All walls are not bad, nor barricades evil
Nor bulwarks protecting much painful upheaval.
But giv’n full-over to fortress mentality
Robs one of joy…and risk…and reality.

For mankind was not designed just to survive,
But live to the full and to love and to thrive;
To grow in God’s knowledge and grace to revive
One’s purposeful life—that is truly alive!
While fully acknowledging past hurts, contrive
New ways to live and to peacefully jive
And love one another. And as one, derive
The myst’ry of Christ and fulfillment’s deep-dive.

Like Tolkien, this poem is not allegory;
I deem that it touches on everyone’s story.
We certainly need walls for self-preservation
Of heart, and of home, and in guarding our nation.
But each unique person may choose the high call
To overcome obstacles left since the Fall.
To love with Agape conquers degradation
And builds one’s life upon a firm, sure Foundation.

“Paul’s Poetic Platform” Series Note

This 10-part poetic series covers a wide variety of general and personal topics with acrostic, one-word rhyming titles from A through J. February’s topic challenges JUGHEADS Journal readers to not let personal walls of self-protection deny the intimacy required by any meaningful, growing relationship.     —PRA