The Wrong Kind of Poem

Today is the five year anniversary of my first date with Jeff, and the two-and-a-half year anniversary of our wedding. (Which means that, from this day forward, we’ll have been married longer than we dated. Weird!) Recently I was looking back through old journal entries, when I found this poem that I wrote back in March 2010, one year after we’d met. As the French say, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose… Happy anniversary, love!

Photograph by Matt Lusk Photography

The Wrong Kind of Poem

I am looking for poems
about love
in the vast collections and anthologies
I used to read.
I remember so many
of them bursting with it, that something which was
almost like suicide in its sublimity
and sadness and inescapable
beauty. Sometimes I would cry
or gasp like a fish swallowing nothing
but longing, arching my shimmering, singular existence
against the hard new ground of my life.

I was young, and death
made my young body lovely, and unforgiving.

Now I finger the dog-earred pages, the bent old bookmarks.
They are all, every one of them, elegies
written by old men
overly concerned with their own lingering doubts
about who they might have been instead.
I know, I have been stupid.
I should have been reading the Romantics, the shamelessly
optimistic, the ones lost to themselves
in fields of daffodils and the sound of bells
who never stopped
to consider what it all was for, but knew
anyway, and with certainty.

Now I do not know
how to tell you properly what your love has done for me.

When I listen, there is only
the sound of our breathing together, softly
and without any pain
that would distract us from the gentle urgency
of being alive.


Photo Credit: Matt Lusk Photography


Share This Post:

Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

2 Comments

  1. Kristie
    Mar 19, 2014

    What a beautiful poem…you gave me goosebumps. The last lines are incredibly evocative. I really love it.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>