Seventh Love Poem and Seventh Song of Despair

by Beate Sigriddaughter

Seventh Love Poem: A Better Silence

There is a better silence. This,
like a secret, I would like to keep

unchanged. Drops glisten
on a blade of grass, a bird
high in the tree, first opening
its throat, then closing it again
in the chapel of new dawn,
to save its song for later.

Your eyes are open. And my heart
is filled with darklight flickering.
History's beguiling whisper falls
away, the future is forgotten,
and the world sleeps naked,
innocently dreaming of itself,
the silk of skin, the hush of sun
on wood and earth
and you.

Seventh Song of Despair: Excuses

I hear our cry for love, like
children having learned
the stern mechanics of attention.
If we are sick, we can collect.
Pain is honored. Dead,
we would finally be missed,
though perhaps not enough.
We can never be sure of

enough. We call ourselves
unworthy and hope for God
and the world to disagree, and
to invite us back into the center
of the universe,

especially our complicated God
whom we appointed purposely
to be sure of someone's love
out there, for loving yourself,
though highly recommended,
never seems adequate.

And so I sacrifice and ache
and moan to dramatize to you
my merits in the field of love.

Do I claim love then as—what
would you call it—an excuse
for doing something with my life?

And what exactly is it I would do?