Speaking of Love

I say,
“I’m going to start fixing dinner now.”
Then later…
“Dinner in 10 minutes.”
Then 10 minutes later…
“Dinner time.”

He says,
“Dinner in 20 minutes.”
25 minutes later
when I go to the dining room
he sits at the table
waiting patiently.
I am frustrated.
He is not.
Just simply waiting.

Another time,
when he goes to bed
I am delayed

(answering a text from a girl I am tutoring. Panicking about a project, she hopes I can meet her in the morning before school.)

When I come to bed
I try to interest him
but he is slow to respond.
I ask softly
(forgetting his near deafness)
but get no answer.
Thinking him uninterested
I roll over with a sigh
to read.
He, though interested,
says nothing
thinking I have decided
I am too tired.

But last week he brought me
not yet quite blooming
so they opened their yellow hearts to me
over the week in the vase on the mantle.

Yesterday he brought me
Lenten roses
Hellebores, he taught me,
bowing their dusky petals over the mantel.

One afternoon he went
as usual to take his nap
but came out again
after just a few minutes
pulled me up from the sofa
“No miscommunication.
I want you.”

I went with him
because of how we respond
to each other’s caresses.

But more…

Because of daffodils
and Lenten roses
Because of dinners fixed
and gardens tended
Because of evenings
sitting on the sofa
when he stretches his hand
across the small distance
to squeeze mine
Because of unexpected love notes
left in my favorite places
when he is gone

Because of his love
eloquently told
every day

On Valentine’s Day

Love flows
Like a stream
Sometimes dammed
Sometimes diverted
Never stopped

Love knows
How to wait
Sometimes mild
Sometimes wild
Never gone.

Loves grows
Like a plant
Sometimes creeping
Sometimes leaping
Never withering.

Love blows
Through our souls
Like divine breath
Defying even death
Never still.

Love shows
Up every day
Not just
Valentine’s Day.

Love stays.

Death or Life

Age can scumble our dreams
Tumbling us into soft
Yielding complacency
So we stumble over
Discarded ambitions
Succumb to half truths
Live, loving less, in dim light
Until we die.

But also

Age can chiaroscuro our memories
Limning us into newer selves
Yielding nothing
Though we humble ambitions
Search for better truths
Die, loving more, in divine light
Until we live.