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Empty Heart - Maria Angeline Pennacchi

The vision came to me as they usually do,

In that space between dreams and the prelude of waking.

Half-conscious, mind open and blank,

Eyes still closed in contented slumber…

Then the flash, so vibrant, the intensity overwhelming.

I witness the scene in great detail,

With vivid colors and strong emotions.

I stand in the presence of that sight, a split second,

Completely immersed in the picture before me.

Then it’s gone, and I wake with a gasp, eyes wide open.


At times, I’m left in confusion,

Unable to decipher the signs I behold,

But on this occasion, the meaning was clear.

I was left with no uncertainty;

The symbol was explicit.

On a rustic, wooden table, I saw my heart.

Almost indescribable, it resembled a vase,

Open at the top so I could see inside.

It appeared to be made up of many pieces,

Put together like a puzzle.


I assumed it was breakable, like porcelain or china,

But as I looked closer, I saw the strength of its construction.

The walls; thick and sturdy,

Built to withstand hurt, loss and betrayal.

A beautiful metal, worn copper, reflected in the dim light.

Each puzzle piece had a name,

Though I could not see the writing, I knew…

They were my family, my children, my ancestors,

Dear neighbors that helped nurture me,

Childhood friendships, forged in innocence

To stand the test of age and time.


Instinctively, I peered inside to find a lover’s name,

But it was empty, vacant, containing nothing.

I wanted to feel the sadness, anger or grief

That comes with the sorrow of heartache and lost love…

I needed to see his name

Written on a tattered piece of paper, frayed and torn,

But visibly there, just to prove those years existed.

Instead, I saw the bottom of my heart,

Burnished to a fine sparkle, free and clean.

The understanding came to me abruptly,

A clarity so bitter-sweet, it took my breath away.

What’s not meant for me had been removed,

Despite my attempts to hold onto it

So dearly,

So lovingly,

So desperately.


As I began to comprehend the startling vision,

Sweet mercy came over me, 

Filling me with a profound, yet calm realization.

My heart was not shattered; it was whole.

Far from weak or destroyed,

What I saw before me was exquisitely powerful...

It was time to let go, to move on.

To embrace the limitless possibilities

In the dawn of a new day, the promise of a fresh start,

The wondrous hope of new beginnings.

Staring down at that beautiful piece,

Shimmering copper on the old wooden table

In a faintly sunlit room that I did not recognize,

I saw my heart was perfectly empty…

Cherished confirmation of the progress of my healing.


Maria Angeline Pennacchi is a mom and nature lover from New Jersey.

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