When we were dating, Rick and I went through our “poetry phase.”
I was a recent UofM grad – and English major who surrounded myself with books of poetry throughout the house. Rick enjoyed most of the poems I recited to him – at least I thought he did.
Rick lived in Minnesota and I in Michigan and he flew home every weekend. He also travelled quite a bit for his job.
One night, I believe he was returning on a red-eye flight from California, he stayed up all night and greeted me at the airport the next morning excited to tell me what he’d done.
He’d memorized one of my favorite poems.
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.