“What is love? How would you answer that?” I asked my husband on Saturday night at 8:43 PM after he’d watch a great storm roll in from the front porch with our dog while the cat was hiding.
I’d no idea where the cat was but she had a mouse trapped earlier, I knew she was around. We had tried to rescue the mouse with a towel to take it outside. I thought we’d succeeded. But the mouse died of a heart attack. Todd buried it.
“Love is not jealousy, blah blah blah,” Todd said.
He can be a little sardonic. He was right. I wanted to ask what he thought love was not. I’d written a poem for him. I wanted to read it. Aloud. So I tried.
“Love is not food…”
“Yes it is.” Oh give me a chance here. Reading my work rarely works. Why do I try?
“Never mind,” I said. “You’re not a poet.”
“Yes I am.” He said then. “Haven’t you seen my feet?”
Oh, Todd. That was one of his father’s jokes. That’s enough. I read it to myself one more time.
Love is not food or wine or sleep. It is not a lifeboat in waters too deep. It is not an injection to cure.
Love will not heal a gaping wound or mend a broken limb.
And what when grief’s too great, when despair steals breath,
When hunger, thirst or sleepless angst cause us to forsake the memory of our love, our soul’s rest?
Would I forsake it then? I suppose I could. But my beloved, be still. I don’t think I ever would.
He buried the mouse. I mean, what we have? This is love.
I did finally read my poem to Todd this morning after I had accidentally knocked him in the head with my elbow in bed. He came down the stairs with an ace bandage wrapped around his head.
“I wouldn’t post that,” he said.
“Why not?” It’s a lousy poem.
“It’s our life, nobody cares. Nobody else posts stuff like that.”
But this is love. Who doesn’t care about that? And you answered my question.