Not-So-Aimless Love

 

Billy Collins was born 83 years ago, on March 22, 1941.  I don’t know a lot about him (I’ve made avoidance of modern poets a hallmark of my literary experience), but he was beloved of a dear friend of mine and–on occasion–I can see why.

Above all else, Collins’s poetry was accessible.  Sometimes funny.  Heartwarming, and heartbreaking.  This one in particular (full poem at this link), last stanza:

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap.

God.  If I had a dollar for each time I’ve stood at the bathroom sink gazing down affectionately at the soap.  Whether my intention was to wash away my own sins or to disinfect the sins of others; or to cleanse the nasty fallout from a bad lambing, a tractoring disaster, or another farm mishap; or if it was simply to deliver me from my regrettable tendency to circle the drain and find myself unable to move on from an unpleasant situation that had gone sideways through no fault of my own.

And yet.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
Without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

Love which cannot be wasted.  Love which cannot be killed.

Not-so-aimless love.

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  1. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    Gorgeous.

    • #31
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