Saturday, February 23, 2008

Love's Labor Won

Title suggested by Julie H. in Nashville. Many thanks.

I am fine, no --
Better than fine
Glad or pensive or passably
Brave, perhaps
I smile in the sun
And also in the dark
Forgetting to count back
Rising on some wind not looked for.

Today the fault was mine for reading
The thing that happened
And took someone away.
In the mote in God's eye
And her someone
Was my someone
Together we took the staircase towards a vanishing resolution.
And wanting to weep
I could not
Though grief came on like
A casting of pebbles
Into shadow
So instead I wrote
What I know

The truth I know is this
That the Now where I live is a borderland
A jagged almost-nothing
That the past accessible to me is
A selective harvest
Muddy and not simple
That the future is not mine
That it wastes on the vine
And in the almost-nothing left to me
I - we all- still breathing, love
And for whom we love we labor,
Our breath sleep hope strength youth
In whatever quantity we possess them
To hold them sacred in the place where no storms come
Though as I always suspect
But never
No never
Think outright- My love is
Not a stay on the debts owed to living
Nor even a mandate
That the beloved shall stay with me
Or forgive me
Or need me
Or love in return
And it all would seem a fool's surety
Though we do the best we can.

But in the moment
The beloved
Crosses over a river
That I cannot cross
And leaves me
Standing beneath the tree we planted
Who would mock me? Revile me?
Everyone knows
It is written in some star
If nowhere else, that
Love's labor is not so easily lost,
When it is in itself the victory.
And having written it again
I can rise.

1 comment:

Julie H said...

Thank you SO much! It is so beautiful touched me deeply in places I really needed to be touched. I didn't realize how much the title (and the resulting work) relates to me so well right now until I read what you wrote. I can't wait to read it to my husband, who is also a poet. He will appreciate it as well.

I really want to read The Year Of Magical Thinking even more now than I did before. Next library trip....

Blessings to you & may all your love's labor win you rich rewards. Thank you, thank you, thank you!