Their Life in Love

In gifts that given are

The wishes of two children on a star

And then into the light

Another joyful medley black and white

 

To try their strength at last

And leave the sorrowed bed-clothes of their past

To watch the years unroll

To touch inside but leave the other whole

 

The sometimes-coming joy

In playful words that tease but don’t destroy

The often uphill track

With loving hands to soothe an aching back

 

So many different things

It takes to keep a love within the rings

For love is what love does

That’s all there is, and all there ever was

 

O Love, The Winter

O love, the winter calls me home,
To wear the blanket, warm and still;
O love, the idols of my heart,
Sit glist’ning on the windowsill —

Where once the summer flower bloomed,
Is now a field of cold and blank:
But past regret lies gratitude
For those whom I can never thank —

O love, the winter knows my name,
And know the place that I belong,
A chair beside a fire in
A cabin old, but middling strong –

Wherein awaits the chapter next,
That I must read as daylight dies;
O love, the winter calls me home,
To draw our lives in pictures ‘cross the skies

In Youth

You asked me once, when we were young,
If love was made to last.
I said I had no way to know:
“The future’s not the past.”
    And on a bridge, beside a pond,
    We sat there, full in youth,
    And wanted nothing comforting
    But truth.

It wasn’t many years before
You found yourself a place,
And built a home and family,
And filled it up with grace.
    For youthful as were all your ways,
    You lived true to your feelings,
    And marked your life with love in all
    Your dealings —

But I went on to just go off.
My heart and mind betrayed me.
I traveled through the manic lands,
For no one could dissuade me.
    Though youngish in experience,
    I felt old in my pain,
    And strove for nothing; all of it
    Seemed vain.

But in those last cold days of youth,
I still remembered us,
And saw you’d made another choice,
Got on a different bus.
    And so I traveled back in time,
    And stood beside this pond,
    To try to look around, and see
    Beyond —

For “young” is everything at once,
And little in return;
There’s cold and empty nights for those
Who always blaze, and burn.
    But honesty’s its own reward.
    In truth, you’d chosen wisely,
    And how my life had gone could not
    Surprise me…

You asked me once, when we were young,
If love was made to last.
A thing you answered for yourself:
“Depends on how it’s cast.
    For love’s a sturdy building
    If we’re careful in its making,
    A thing that starts and ends with
    Undertaking.”

To Change My Life…?

What seemed right and what felt right
Pulled in two quite different ways;
I drove into the desert ‘neath
The unforgiving rays

My heart, it wanted change, to get
A new life, a new start;
My mind said, “Everything is fine.
Don’t listen to your heart.”

For life’s responsibilities
Had greatly weighed me down;
The desert spoke of dying things
Of ghost lives, and ghost towns —

I drove for the entire day
And as the sun was setting
Decided I should stay the course
And that I’d been forgetting

What my life had been like before.
Once home, as I undressed,
I kissed my sleeping wife
And settled down to take some rest.

My instincts haven’t always
Been the greatest friend to me:
For if I listened, I’d have lost
All my reasons
To be
 


 

(“To Change My Life…?” – 12-16-2014)

Filling Station

Once
A woman and her husband
Stopped at this place

She, eight months with child
He, thinking about walking out
And the drive had been a tense one
Old wounds reopened
Fresh hurts on display

And an old couple was there
At the same time
Laughing while they pumped gas
They asked her when the baby was due

She said, “One month.”

The old man asked her husband
“Are you excited?”
“Nervous,” was the reply

“Don’t be. Just remember:
Loving someone
Who loves you back
Is the greatest thing in the world.
And your child
Will love you back.”

Forty-eight years later
The woman is no longer young
She stands at this abandoned place
Her young granddaughter in tow.
“What is this place?” the little girl asks

This place?
This is where your grandaddy and I

Decided to stay in love


 

(“Filling Station” – 8-15-2014)

I Only Know

I write like rain
In drips or sometimes showers,
My every passing thought
Turned into text

I’ve no great talent
Nor, special misfortunes
To truly separate me
From the next

But what I feel, well,
This, then I can tell you,
The truth that comes by faith
And not by sight

I only know
I truly, truly love you:
Though I don’t know you –
Only
What you write


 

(“I Only Know” – 4-17-2015)