“Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.”
– Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time
“Love is a verb,” a cliché
truth overused, still rings true –
a burglar alarm announcing thieves
in a grocery store after the riot.
A half truth, a single face
when there are two, verb and noun.
Caring for a child with fever
is love, complete and complex.
A child tied to a chance beginning,
a class, church, online, a line.
Conceived in an empty condom box.
Born to grasp, hearts and breasts.
The sick child of this moment,
descended, a baby’s “Dada,”
a mother’s passion in a wheel of:
mothers, fathers and newborn others.
Love is a verb? It may be, but –
it is a verb with history.
History, real and imagined
of princes who turn into toads.
Pedestals are for broken hearts,
the ground is where things grow.
A sick child tended, becomes
fruit at another wedding party.
Sea salt, bee wing whispers,
worms in the soil of ancestors.
An old love begets new love
and brands it with its mark.
Who can see the mark of love?
Who can say, verb or noun?
And later, who can say it was
a thing, deed or fantasy?