Old Liza Tells of Love

© Stefan Stefancik/Unsplash

When you love, it’s true,
you don’t see bad teeth,
or turnip toes peeking
from the cutaway shoe,
or if you do, God bless you,
they are somehow endearing.

When the soul shines through,
the blemish, the bruise,
the sagging breast, the bumpy nose,
the bundled veins or spotted hands
are ways of masking light
otherwise too bright.

They are markers that you’ve
drawn near to something dear,
the mud from which brooks bubble up,
the blood of birth, the winter tree,
the cracked cup in trembling hands
that holds the drink you need.

The little son curled like a root,
the bald wife softly brushing air,
broken soldiers doctors can’t repair,
the soul is there. We love.
We cannot help but love,
beyond hope, or death, or prayer.

And if you love, it’s true,
and simpler than it seems,
someone first loved you.
Your soul welled up. You had
a place. You grew in light
and ran in grace.

Or perhaps it happened late,
but when it did, your soul
rushed like water through your bones,
cooling sin, soothing shame.
For the first time, you were wholly here
because love pronounced your name.

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