Bring Aimless Love To Valentine’s Day

Wise Sentiments From A Beautiful Wordsmith…

Aimless Love
by Billy Collins

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door—
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor—
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.



2 Responses to “Bring Aimless Love To Valentine’s Day”

  1. Suzanne

    Nicole: This morning, after cleaning out the cat litter, “I found myself standing at the bathroom sink gazing down affectionately at the soap…..” Seaweed soap. What’s not to love about seaweed soap? It’s slippery, not slimy like seaweed, and smells faintly like the ocean. I think it is tinged delicately green. It is a truly wonderful soap, and I love it. Today, I will look about me and find other things to fall in love with aimlessly. Maybe the patch of pristine snow caught in some leaves at the base of a tree. Or the dazzling morning sun that has just risen over the buildings in the eastern sky and is warming my cheek as I sit here at my desk.
    Thank you for this wise and wonderful poem.

    • Nicole

      Your words could fit in seamlessly with this poem. Thank you for such beautiful imagery.




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