Looking back over all of the advice passed on to me—
that I wore like unwanted ill-fitting hand-me-downs—
the only one tailored just for me was “Love.”
As she held my hand,
each wrinkle mapping the battlefield on which she fought,
her brown eyes a mixture red clay and sand,
she said it hoarsely,
a paper thin word dog-eared between my mind and soul.
Love when you are the last in line
and the cashier is new.
Love like a ray of light
In a prison room.
Love with the pain of a mother in labor,
anxious to hold joy.
Love like the innocence of a child
who still believes.
Love like a curmudgeon
whose every grumble shows his heart is tender.
Love like a teenager’s curfew.
Love like a passenger,
not a driver.
Love like profanity
sanded out of a bathroom stall.
Love the hand that pays your bills
and the one that hurts your child.
Love when the award is given, not to you, but to
the owner of the foot prints on your back.
Love as if there is only one person left to love.
Love with a love that is pounded like gold,
thin so that it covers the gap between two people through time and space.
Love as if each act were a nugget of gold
Presented to a homeless wanderer.
Love like a mother whose dying
word was “Love.”
Love, knowing that hope looks ahead,
Faith looks within,
And Love looks without.
Knowing that love is more beautiful than the songs of angels.
Knowing that God is love.
Wisdom shouts in the streets and calls young men to her,
But Love reaches in quietly and pours from within,
as if it is the foyer of Heaven
as if it is an action
as if it is.