Two Lips of Forever Love

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He didn’t “get it,

the “loss thing,”

when my aunt died mid-April,

and I lost my second mother.

Didn’t “get it” when I lost my first.

This was not the only time

he was lost in oblivion and

puzzled by my tears.


He didn’t see me hurting

from the loss of my lineage,

and his lack of empathy for my grief

as he made me meet and greet

a friend the next day, as if all was normal.

This time I balked, bolder and older,

and he agreed it was time to ponder

and talk with his mentor.


When he came home

one night days later,

full of hugs of apology,

and tulips on the kitchen counter,

it was a breakthrough for us both.

It took a few days

but what came out

brought tears upon tears.


Not having grown up

with emotional displays

he didn’t “get” the meaning of loss.

With no models of grief

he didn’t know how to feel it himself

nor how to give solace,

not just lip service,

to those who had lost.


 I cried for him.

How very sad, as a child

he didn’t know the love I knew.

He, a sensitive child,

in an icebox family

fraught with frigid emotion,

and warm, deep affection only

from his great-aunt, Dot.


He brought me pink tulips,

flowers of a contrite heart,

and held me close

and kissed me

with lips full of apologies

but I was the one

who felt sorry for him

for the years he knew not love.


Twenty-eight years ago

God told me “Love this man,

trust him and have faith in him,

and hold him to your heart.”

Many moons later, I love him light-years

more than the day we met

and in then-unimaginable ways

has our love strove for the stars.


He has brought me:

kindness and gentleness,

generosity of spirit,

goodness of heart,

and healing humor.

What I have taught him:

the glories of love

and agony of loss.


From the beginning

the seed of love was sown

for better or worse

deeply within the parched,

but fertile soil of my imperfect heart.

And he has cultivated the growth

of a stalwart, staid evergreen,

amid the blooming two-lips of forever love.

17 responses

  1. Beautiful!!


    May 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    • Thanks so much, Kathy. Was going to write you– any good news on the move? Thanks, again, Love, Ellen


      May 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

  2. This is lovely – it brought tears to my eyes.


    May 3, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    • Thank you so much, Suzy Blue, for sharing your comment with me.


      May 3, 2013 at 9:43 AM

  3. Oh dear Ellen. You moved me from the first stanza. Deeply. I’m so happy for the love you and he have and for how it continues to grow through life’s eruptions and your mutual discoveries.


    May 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    • This means so much to me coming from you, Paul! Yes, I am very blessed with my marriage. Thank you so very much for your lovely comment!


      May 3, 2013 at 1:49 PM

  4. Ellen
    I was so moved by your honest, heart wrenching words. I understand that so well. I have found that in life for myself at times. No one understands. No one gets it. No one feels the pain and gives you permission to just be. To just grieve, to just hold me and let me feel the love that will embrace my sad heart. You are so tender and warm and I appreciate your sentiments. I am also so delighted that a brighter future of hope is awaiting. The symbolism of the tulips is so beautiful.
    You are a joy and your heart is so beatufiul.
    Love always


    May 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM

  5. Genie

    I like your term: “icebox family.”
    Explains a lot.


    May 3, 2013 at 9:07 PM

  6. Finally….You made the picture complete for me. Not just that, you’ve shown the way of keeping a relationship. You are a kind heart, full of compassion and forgiveness. Thank you sharing a beautifully written poem. I’m overwhelmed.


    May 7, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    • I am overwhelmed with your comment here and all the “likes” and other comments on other posts. Thank you so much for your kind words here. I am not convinced they are true but I aim to make them so. Relationships take a lot of work and compassion. My dear Siciliana mother taught me that. And her family. They were very loving and I was blessed to have them as grandparents and my dear aunt. I haven’t seen this kind of love in American families. I have seen it in the Bollywood movies but, of course, that is not the real world. My impression from the Bollywood movies and from my former Sri Lankan boyfriend, is that the Italians and the Indians have much in common. I would love to go to India but it will not be in this lifetime.


      May 7, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      • Yup. I know Italians or people of any other origin is by watching their local movies. The family value system and bonding is quite similar in Italian and Indian families.

        Moreover, I see traces of NY, country life and Italian values through your writings. That’s great exposure of me. If I don’t get to travel it’s okay meantime ! 🙂


        May 8, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    • And I learn about India through your eyes and ears and poetry.


      May 9, 2013 at 9:47 AM

  7. Wow, wow and Wow! This is beyond beautiful, and deeply deeply moving. I know what it’s like to be a sensitive child from an icebox family….how incredibly wonderful that God would tell you to love him, “moons ago”, and now this greater love. What a gift. God bless you both–love, Caddo


    May 7, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    • Thank you so much, Caddo. I am sorry that you know what it is like to be a sensitive child in an icebox family. Yes, I am very blessed to have found him. Being Bipolar and Asperger’s he has been a rock of stability that I never knew. Thank you for your blessing. May God bless you. I read and loved a poem of yours and am going to check out your site right now. Know you don’t like the social thing– I know what you mean about it. Anyhow thanks for following my blog and for writing.


      May 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

  8. very beautiful … love is very powerful


    May 8, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    • The most powerful force on earth… makes sense if God is love. We are to see God in all but perhaps that vision is easiest to see in those we love. Thanks for reading and appreciating.


      May 8, 2013 at 5:07 PM

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