My Dearest Love

Our love is intense

I knew you were helpless without me

crying crying and crying.

I was the one who fed you, clothed you and held you during those long long nights.

My body began to give out.

This past twenty plus months, you have cried again.  All four of you cried.  I heard your sobs from the Left Coast and I came running.  There was no question.  You were in hot water and you were unable to get yourself out.  So I came.  So I stayed.

I feel the same wear and tear on my body again; this time, quadrupled.  The love is so much deeper; I doubt I can describe it.  How does anyone describe their need for their own breath, the need for the heart to beat even if it is no mine and the need for succor in this cruel world of war, strife and floods?

Life is so very tumultuous; we  people are tossed to and fro like pecans dropping from large canopied trees in autumn.  We are pelted and become missiles into our lives and others.  You are just beginning to learn your journey of life is already half over.  You faltered for love.  You thought, like I do, love would carry you through.  It did not and you still had me. What will happen next time?  Will you be more careful, less willing to give yourself to love with abandonment?  The only love where this is possible is ours.  In other relationships, if we lose ourselves in love, we will indeed lose.  There may not be a mother’s hand to grasp and pull you back from the edge of all you know.

Along with the poet’s words:  love is kind, patient, etc. I want to add:  love is fleeting like a shadow of an elm tree in fall, love is maddening like a man lost in a crowd with a knife and love is greedy asking for too much like a child whose ice cream cone has melted and she wants her mother to go to the store and get her another one.  The store will be there; the mother may not be.

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I Love You Amidst Your Pettiness

The poets say love encompasses all.

Love is the container

it does not leak

not even if it is thrown into the field and neglected

for a season

because a family member

had more than one

and did not understand

some people do not have even one container.

Filled with dirt, algae and moss, love lies on its side

waiting

waiting for the one who threw it

to remember

hopes they will remember without being reminded

how hard was the throw

how neglectful the thoughts of containment

as an entitlement.

The vessel stretches out in the warm sun

and waits.

She has more lessons to teach

and is also getting tired.

Will the one from whose hand she was flung

ever grow up and realize containment is not earned or won

it is given and can die or wither if left alone

unattended?

Love Song to the Uncles

as a tyke

I watched you

sway in the breeze

as you stood outside.

I would come to know you liked your whisky and beer.

The man I saw today was missing half his teeth.

How could I forget?  The true mark of poverty and unlovingness

society inflicts on some

and not others.

My, how I loved and love those boys and men with the clearest blue

eyes.  I never saw them smack a child.  I never saw them hit a woman.

I never saw them have a fight with each other.  Dad told me they did and

one of them was a mean man so I figure it was him.  His eyes colored more to the

brown side than blue.  All men of the same mother; she died after giving

birth to my father; thirteen in all; eleven lived for a while.

He the babe lived to bid all good-bye

how hard it was

to see the tears course

down his brown cheeks.

When he was laid off, he did not shed a tear.

When my mother was less than hospitable, he never groaned.

When his body began to disintegrate at age 40 because his telomeres were

old at his birth, he did not yell out in pain.  In anger, yes.

They are all gone; all those men and most of the boys.

And, I am going too.  My blue eyes becoming clearer every day and through the tears they sparkle too.

I Love You Because I Do Not Understand You

you are the mystery

of my older years

I sought

a companion, a pal, a solace

I have a stranger

melting in and out

A shadow unknown

A piece of the puzzle of life unexplored

Just an old man to go to dinner with

maybe, cuddle up before the fire

watch the stars

instead

war, unceasing war and battles, horrible battles,

and displacements, thousands of people

you are in the middle of it all

and I

am enticed by life again.

You are So Easy to Love

Two of you like peas in a pod.  Similar and different and I love you so much.

Faces round and brown, legs stout from mountain climbing, bike riding and throwing footballs up, up in the air.

So late in life you came to me and just at the very right time.

You captured my heart.  You love me just because.  We play and laugh.  You tease me and I tease you.  I ask myself:  what is it like to be three and nine years of age and male and growing so very fast in this fast changing world?  As their adopted grandmother, I know they will be famous some day as they are already so smart, funny and playful with me.  One may be an architect and the other might stand with a fist and lead his people, our people into another world of peace and prosperity for all.

I ask myself how can this be?  I want my own flesh and blood; they reject me because I will not fit their mold and here are these two and their mother and I am so crazy in love.  What good fortune.

The force be with you and also with you.

 

You are my Secret Love

So many people in my life

and you are the One

my only.

My breath is your breath

your sobs echo through my heart chambers.

I kept you alive

you keep me alive.

You run from me, laughing.

Already, you know

soon will be the time

when I cannot catch you.

I need words, hugs and kisses

to tie you, bind you forever

like a yoyo

I will be your string

you will come back to me.

Words fail

words fall

panic ensues

life so precious

each year passing

and then you came.

At the end of my sorrows

you came, my joy.

I Love You, Dear Daughter: Love Amidst Fear

you are the one

I carried

while I stood

at the edge of a grave

I went a little crazy

you went along for the ride

you did not have a choice

years later, I saw your round face looking at mine;

Mommy, “be spontaneous” you beckoned me

back to life.

you are the one

who screamed to me over thousands of miles

at eight months’ pregnancy

and I heard you and your baby and your daughters

call my name and I came

and I stayed and stayed and today I stay.

You are the world to me.

Without you, there would be no life for me.

Please

be careful with

yourself and your children

if you are not safe

it will be the end of me.

I love your long hair hanging down your back

as I scratch you to help you relax

I loved you from the first day

you stirred within me and I felt the flutter of

your quickening.

I have stood by you

at your wedding

at your daughters’ births

with your family

and you stood by me through my darkest days

and today.

You are the love of my life; I move away from you

because your mate must be number one

to help your rear your brood; I stand aside.  I become older,

less physically able; perhaps, a tad wiser and with more laughter deep

in my tummy as I love touch you and yours.

I will love you

until the day I die.  My love for you will live after me

if you choose

my hope is your focus

will be on your self

and your family.

I Love You Even Though to Me You are a “Horse of a Different Color”

I am not sure what the writer

of the Wizard of Oz meant when he used this phrase:  horse of a different color.

What I mean:  in-laws remain strange and different to me even after decades of interaction and good will.

Becoming family, we push and pull each other.

I want my traditions.  You want your holidays celebrated with a pudding your mother made.  I want a vacation at the beach.  You want to go to the mountains.

Two families have united.

Now, there are children.

We are called upon to be civilized.  To try our best to understand each other.  We may spend half of our holidays with these people.  We may sleep in their houses, share their toothpaste and eat many dinners together.  We may sit through long, tiring graduations, attend wedding parties and eat lots of cubed cheese and we may share the death and dying of beloved members and sob on each others’ shoulders.

Still, this people are strange.  They have hobbies I do not understand.  They like Nascar and golf and spend every fall watching days and days of tennis as a holiday activity.  The men watch lots of television and the women do not shop where I shop, she is vegetarian and I love pork chops and he likes blueberries on his ice cream.  I usually focus on the differences, the odd behaviors and the things that do not mesh.  I feel irked.  I am anxious.  I am confused.

And then, a disaster strikes.  A baby I love is sick.  My van needs to be serviced and I need a ride to the dealership.  Who do I call?  I call one of the horses in the “polka-dot stables” and ask please will you help me?  If they are able, they always say yes.  Some times, I do not even have to ask.  A warm cup of coffee with lots of milk and cinnamon awaits me.  I step outdoors at the airport and I have a car and driver waiting.   I look around at the hospital and there is a face I know and he asks if I want a mint and I feel like I can make it for ten more minutes.

I am glad I can love different and strange to me horses.

I Loved You Even Though You were Unlovable

When we marry as young twenty somethings

we marry a stranger

even if we have known him a year

have met his family

see his assets and vulnerabilities

his successes are viewed

as part of him

because I was green

and new

to life

you were my first receiver

I loved you so very much

I allowed you to enter my body

and the next year

we became parents

and then

you began to show me

how unloving you were.

You would not take care of our baby

yes, she had multiple birth defects

yes, your mother would have been upset

maybe, she would have cut off your allowance

and then

your unlovingness

just grew and grew

if you rode your bike

and worked hard;

you wanted a massage for your back

and never gave me one; not once.

And, I stayed with you

and made two more children.

The candles shining in my darkness

and they are daughters

with very little of you in them.

By nature and nurture, they belong to themselves.

They love, they reach out to others and they are lovable to me.

You are dead

and sometimes, I am still sad.

at what we might have had.  We never got to sit

with our grandchildren around us; not once.

When you refused to love

when you could not or would not love

you shrank

and your life force was lessened

and you left us very early.  As I write this prose,

I realize I am no longer mad (like crazy) nor am I sad.

My tribute is my love regardless of whether it was returned.

 

I Love You, Adopted Son

No matter how long it is between conversations, I know you and you know me.

We were each other’s person when I did not even know what that phrase meant.

Standing together behind the huge recliner, we administered meds, checked tubing and made certain the port was cleared.

Later, we ate ice cream together and we laughed until we cried.

Then, much later, we really cried.  I cried so much I thought I would never stop.  I worked through my tears, I drove through my tears and I talked through my tears.  I cried every day.

Now I get to hold your sons and your wife in my heart too.  How wonderful is that?  I get to see  them grow and play and run.  According to what you said when we talked today, I will shortly be getting to see them fight as this is now the age and stage.

I gave you a little advice.  I just cannot help myself.  I gave you many kudos mostly on purpose; but, also to tell you how special your fatherhood is to me.  How very special your wife is to me and how truly wonderful it is that our relationship has stood the test of time.

It is so good to say “I love you” and know the other person knows and says it too and means it.

Thank you for being “like a son to me.”  I always remember and I will never forget.