Poetry / Poets

8 love poems by Susie Sweetland Garay

I

Side by side we sit on plastic chairs,
looking out over the river as we move through it.
It is the day after high school graduation.
We are surrounded by friends and giddy
with our accomplishment –
but unsure of what comes next.

In two weeks I will start college.
In just days we will have our first kiss.
After, we will exchange letters,
but our communication won’t last.
We are young and distracted
or perhaps it is not yet our time.

II

The other day while we fought
I was amused to realize that
all that I used to know about
fighting with others must now
be tossed out the window
and unlearned because
your particular brand of fighting
is like most things, all your own.

III

Sleeping next to you
is an adventure all its own.
We are never far from each other
and prefer our bed small.
When my sister stayed over once
she was genuinely shocked at
the volume of your snoring
and a cousin who shared
your room told me I have an
unusual talent to be able
to sleep through your fits.
He said we must be a
match made in heaven.

IV

Its early summer and we are
walking on the beach.
The sun shines down on us.
We are new but these
movements seem inevitable,
easier than anything has
been for a very long time.
The naturalness of it is exquisite.

What a thing to not have to lie or hide.

You turn driftwood into a drum
and play me a tune. I take
photos of the water and sky,
close ups of the gold and silver
aged wood. We get our feet wet
and do not shy away from the cold.

V

We find ourselves on a
bus seated side by side.
I am by the window.
The scenery outside is
foreign but beautiful.
We are far from home.
All around us are languages
I don’t understand and
faces I don’t recognize.
I am not homesick or afraid.
I take your hand and look outside
reassured in knowing we are
not tied to a place or time.

VI

After a difficult night
we take pains to eat
together without distractions.
We must converse
or be silently bored.

I must remind myself
after a misunderstanding
to not blame the words
themselves for not shouting
their meaning  more clearly.

Thankfully our ploy works.

That night we sleep more soundly
then we had the night before.

VII

I turn your large hands over in mine.
Hands both capable and cracked,
which saved a mouse who had
gotten stuck in a spider trap behind
the bathroom sink and so gently
bathed a newly adopted, frightened
kitten. Those hands which lovingly
prepare our dinner, sharpen knives,
and butcher the deer that you brought us
with so much reverence and joy.

VIII

Tonight I bought a plant
for your mother’s birthday
and drove home to you
in the dark. I find our cat
sitting on the railing of the
front porch as if she had
been waiting for me.
I hear a frog somewhere
behind me, noisy in the night,
and wonder if he too
wants to be invited in.

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7 thoughts on “8 love poems by Susie Sweetland Garay

  1. Susie, this is superb. You offer the reader a true window into an intimate world and do it seemingly effortlessly. This is just lovely and mature and insightful.

  2. such a beautiful series of poems that remind us that every love is idiosyncratic, that joy and beauty are found in the tiniest details, if only we take care to notice and set free the scared mouse.

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