Poets’ Corner: Rosemerry for Valentine’s Day

Poets’ Corner: Rosemerry for Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, it all seems so straightforward, so simple: he gives you a little box or a big bouquet, chocolates too maybe; you give him, what?, basketball tickets. Long glance looks over a romantic dinner. But through her words, her pearls, regular contributor (thank heaven), Word Woman Rosemerry Trommer, understands love is not simple. Love is a many nuanced thing. Below, three ways of looking at that fragile reality. 

And one for those who like a little steam in their coffee…

heart with a bandaid

And the Winner Is

Sometimes I would rather not know love.

I would rather not know that the pearl

is born of an irritation. I tell myself

I do not want iridescence. I do not need

one more beautiful thing to collect

on a string. I make love so small. But love

arrives anyway, less pearl and more current,

more tide, more sea. Immeasurable, though I try

to measure. Unknowable, though I want

to know. It is full of dark and cold and deep

deep places where I will likely never go.

It is only the surface that knows the light.

Is it so wrong to be afraid? Sometimes

I would rather not know love. Damn this day of tears.

But that is when the invitation is most clear.

There is a wrestling inside, love versus pride,

a match I must be willing to enter, even though

I know the only way to win is to lose.


Living by Breaking

The heart breaks and breaks and lives by breaking.

Stanley Kunitz, “Testing Tree”

Like any other muscle,

the heart, when injured,

will clench, and will stay that way

for a long, long time, most likely

long past the time of usefulness.

But when it relaxes again,

perhaps because it has been touched

in just the right way, or perhaps

just because it is exhausted

with its own clenching, well then

it is like when the sun hits the forest

in late morning and releases the scent

of pine and greening leaves.

And it is like when you walk past a spring

and a dozen blue butterflies all brush

you with their wings, a feeling so impossibly

soft and tender that you cannot help

but let the heart stay open, though you know

it will be wounded again. It is not

in the end the heart itself that matters.

It is the practice of releasing again, again.

outline of heart

Putting On My Coat I Realize that You and I Are Like

a button

and a buttonhole—

only effective when we realize

how much we need

each other.



And Who Knows Where They Might End Up

And if my lips

just happen to find

your cheek, well,

let’s perhaps say

they were aiming

for somewhere else

but decided that sweetness

comes in many shades,

and if my hands

happen to brush

your shoulder,

your neck, well,

chances are

they didn’t exactly

get lost, more like

they needed a starting

point, some place

called here

from which they

might travel to other

places called here,

and here, and here.


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