Editor’s note: The final poem in a series of five sent to Telluride Inside… and Out by our favorite Word Woman, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer to put everyone in the mood for Valentine’s Day. “If I Were There…” is from Rosemerry’s “Holding Three Things at Once,” 2009, Turkey Buzzard Press. The image of a cloud heart is Rosemerry’s too.

If I Were There, I Would Hold You and Not Say Anything

It is not enough that we love.
It is not enough to hold each other
when shadows multiply.
Misfortunes procreate like jackrabbits in the field.
Misery more times more.

I travel inside your heart and hear weeping.
You let me walk in your gardens of hope
and I watch the flowers fail.
Sometimes rain refuses to come.
Sometimes sun is too much with us.
And sometimes it’s just not enough
that we plant a seed and tend it daily:
weed, fertilize and pray.
The seedling might die anyway.
And we may never know why.

But if we don’t plant flowers,
thorns come in.
And when we don’t grow gardens,
we build prisons.

It is not enough that we love,
and we must love anyway.
And when it is cold, we must hold each other.
When it is time, we must let go.
And when shadows come,
I will not run from your sorrow.
I will travel with you as far as you let me,
walk with you as long as you go,
hold your hand, knowing it isn’t enough.
And when it rains, I will dance in your puddles,
dance with you on your fallen blooms,
dance with you in your dimming light.
And when night swallows us with its cold, cold tongues
I will dance with you in the prisons we build.

And listen to me: be awake.
All around us, blessings drop like meteors
and fires escape their rings.
And wanting to help is the secret cup
that spills pleasure and purpose and salve.
And love, I know, is not enough,
but love is what we have.

1 Comment
  • Sally Russell Warrington
    Posted at 08:55h, 13 February

    What blessings Rosemary and her writings are! Thank you for allowing us to share this way.