Love is a prism of emotion pinioned in the soul
Held fast, uncertain, cautious,
Remembering the ache of yesterday’s
An anchor line sheared in a squall of sickness,
Death’s inescapable grasp.
Yet too full not to bleed through the skin,
Seep into the eyes
And escape the tongue,
By sheerest nuance of an ordinary word.
Love is an unheard voice
In an Indonesian hospital, asking,
“Is it the rainy season there, Papa?”
A diminutive doll with deep brown eyes
And long, straight black hair
In a sterile room
Recovering from Typhoid.
Love is five first cousins,
Fiercely loyal, unknowingly exclusive,
Confident en mass,
Suddenly standing as
F O U R
In the beat of a heart
That beats no more.
Love is silently slipping the cellophane
Off the last mint as the pastor speaks,
And reluctantly placing it in
The outstretched hand to my left.
Love is a stream of tears splashing
Into a dish of forgotten ice cream
As words sail across state lines
And shatter my heart.
Love is ninety-eight years across four generations
Rearranging summer schedules, games and practices
To gather each July on the shores of Lake Michigan
Because, “Family matters.”
Love is sitting vigil through the long hours
Of the night,
Silently present, simply another
Heart beating in the dark
“It’s too hard to be alone.”
Love is inconvenient
Sometimes requiring more than I have --
More than I can imagine,
More than I’m willing or able to pay.
And yet I do.
It’s easy to give in abundance
When the cost is light and time is free,
But when the price inflates,
I balk, clenching my fist against
Fear creeping in among the shadows,
Refusing to expend,
Determined to preserve myself.
Because love hurts
And it costs everything.
All I have, all I feel,
All that I am.
But then love fills.
Effervescing from the depths of loss,
Oozing into the soul
And suffusing life with Eden’s joy,
A touch so exquisitely tender
Shattering the bonds
Constraining my soul
And exploding into brilliant silence
Replete with the fullness of speech,
Intimate communion with the Holy One,
The great I AM,
The source and genesis,
Of the pure and perfect
Wellspring of LOVE.