...and always for Carole1

Love is not defined.   It cannot be woven in a net of words nor
held enthralled by bold and empty speeches. As effanescent
as the mists, its aspects can't be counted; its meaning has
slipped the grasp of poets and of kings.

Love is not an object.   No boom returns to warn us when its
knocked. No handles are provided, nor tethers nor yet wheels
to let us tow it back behind. It can't be parked in corners nor
dusted nor displayed.

Love is not reasonable.   It will not hold its place in line nor sit
still when it’s addressed. It goes missing when it is sought,
then appears in unlikely places at awkward times. It is subject
to no command, nor can its demands be orchestrated.

Love is not constant.   It grows or dies as it is nurtured. It
waxes and wanes in the ebb and flow of small kindnesses and
gentle tolerances. Tended daily with affection, bathed always
in respect, its strength grows only slowly, year by year. Yet in
the end we find no fragile bloom, but the very tree of life itself.



1 This was written the night before my brother Simon's wedding to Joanne. Simon, an English teacher at the time, said he could find few poems on love for the occasion. I woke up in the middle of the night and tossed this off for them.

© 1988, 2010. Michael Bruce-Lockhart. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without the author's permission.