Under The Collar Experiment

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Love Personified

Love Personified

by Kate Starr, Rev. Tamara Lebak

Love was born on the longest night of the year

while outside a great storm raged.

Lightning ripped its ragged sword 

through the darkness,

temporarily turning night 

into day.

Thunder came from everywhere

Jolting the land from the inside out 

shattering the silence. 

It was as though when Love slipped into the world, 

the earth's heart 

cracked wide open.

Life wrapped her in velvet,

humming a mother's soothing song of praise,

while Death, her father, stood vigil.


Even today, despite the weather, 

Love feels at peace in nature. 

Not that she is boastful or proud, 

Love does believe she is an expert rock climber.

She somehow manages to take hold 

in the smallest fissure,

to wedge her way into the tightest crevice

and make herself comfortable.

Her father used to take her spelunking.

Together they explored the deepest, 

most remote caves.

They treasured the tomb-like quiet and pitch blackness

found nowhere else but the world's inner core.


Love works in the kitchen

of a juvenile detention center.

She brings spices from her own cabinet

to add flavor to the bland rations

the warden calls nourishment.

She also puts a single  raspberry on each tray

as it passes by. 

It's Love's safe and subtle way 

to give each of these sad, scared

and wounded youth

a reassuring kiss.

To show them someone cares,

that they matter.


Love has been engaged many times

but has not yet married.

It's a mystery to her friends 

who set her up on dates 


Love is so patient and kind.

She's not easily angered, self-seeking, or rude.

She doesn't delight in evil, 

but rejoices in the truth.

She always trusts, always protects, always perseveres.

But her suitors 

misinterpret her unconditional attention to everyone 

– men and women, young and old, friends and enemies – 

as insecurity and neediness.

They fear they're not enough for her.

Or that there isn't enough of her 

to be shared.


Love cannot wait to have a child of her own

but in the meantime, 

she has been a surrogate mother 

three times now and counting – 

the first time for an infertile cousin on her mother's side,

then for a single mother, 

and, most recently, for a gay couple.

To Love, there is 

no greater gift she can give to heal a broken world,

no better way to pass on what she's been given.



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