In February 2000, I was asked to write a couple of “love poems” by a friend who is a jazz singer. Bettie Douglas, of Douglas Art Gallery in New Brighton, PA, was to give a program on the topic of LOVE at the Merrick Art Gallery. She wanted me to write a couple of poems she could use as part of her performance. I did write two of them. Mid-way through the concert she performed the poems. My husband had accompanied me to the concert but he did not know anything about my secret. You can imagine his surprise when she began to speak the poems to him that night. He was all smiles. I was delighted to give him this Valentine’s gift of love.
I thought today about writing this blog article and wanted to write about Valentine’s Day. I remembered the poems, and looked back into my archives and found them. I’ll give you just one today with this article.
Journal Assignment #4:
Write a love letter to someone in your life. It will be an actual letter, or maybe you want to try your hand at a poetic love letter. It can be “Free Verse” or any other poetic form you like. After you create your Valentine verse or letter, give it to the one you wrote if about or for! Share your love this week during Valentine’s Day celebrations. Your creative work will be a cherished treasure for someone you love.
It’s a Question of Love
What do I see when I look at my love?
Who is this man I call my best friend?
How many years has it been since he first won my heart?
It was a spring morning when he placed a yellow wild flower in my hand
I was only a high school girl and knew little about life
and had no idea that he was the special one.
Like that yellow wild flower, our love was a very fragile one
a delicate struggle to find the path to our love
We had so much energy then, in the youth of our life
we never knew then what it means to be a true friend
some days it was a difficult task to just reach out my hand
because I wanted to protect my most private and tender heart.
I wondered what he would do if I offered him my heart
would he dash it to pieces and leave me for another one?
or, would he hold me close to his body and reach for my hand?
Would this young smiling boy become the husband I now love?
or, would this hot-blooded romantic youth only want a short-term friend?
And, what I really longed for then was to share my entire life.
I wanted someone to talk with about my dreams on the journey of life
and I needed to know when he looked at me he would see my heart
that he would be the special man who would be both lover and friend
to give me strength when I needed it and be the long-term, committed one
who wanted to keep me warm on a frigid winter’s night and surround me with love
when I embraced his comforting body and held his strong hand.
Nearly forty years have passed by since I held the yellow flower in my open hand
How is it that we travel so quickly through the daydreams and night time’s of our life?
And, looking back I don’t quite seem to remember how our friendship turned to love
or the day when I knew for sure he would give me his whole heart
or when exactly it was that I knew I was his only one
but I do know that I have enjoyed the years I have lived with my best friend.
And, I wonder what my life would have been like if I had never found this dear friend.
Who would have wiped away the tears from my eyes or reached out for my hand?
Would I ever have had so many days filled with friends and a family like this one?
He has given me all that a man can give a woman – he has given me his entire life.
What would my years have been like if he had not given me his heart?
And, who would I have become if I had never known his enduring love?
It’s impossible to answer one of these questions about the nature of romance and life
for we can never know when we stretch out our hand if there will be a lover’s heart
and a lifetime friend when we go on a quest to find answers to explore the question of love.
“It’s a Question of Love,” was composed in 2000. today, fifteen years after I wrote it, I am still in love with my husband, Bob. Love isn’t magic and we are not soul mates. I think that is a myth. Love and marriage take lots of work, and willing partners to do the work to make it last and become more meaningful through the years. Like the true meaning of love, we worked on making our lives into a a trusting and loving relationship that lasts a lifetime and beyond. That is where God comes in, to help us be the people he made us to be – two loving souls who grow together through the years.
This is a poem written in the SESTINA form. If you want to learn how to write a SESTINA yourself, you can refer to an earlier post on this blog. Here is the link to another sestina I published in October 2014: http://lyndalambert.com/shelter-from-the-wind/
By Lynda J. Lambert, Feb.2000
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