Love Lessons

We’re taking love lessons.
That’s why you wake daily at 6 a.m. to feed and clothe a kicking child.
I’m learning to tame knee-jerk
which is why I have a teenager.
The sweetest love is almost never whispered into ears,
but sweated and sworn, wrestled, worn defiantly
in the face of ruthless odds.

Some kids harassed my kids, calling out obscenities
and our neighbors had their car windows smashed.
Priests tricked children
and some people flew planes into buildings
and this is all so much practice for us— too much practice.

Some say quit the class. It’s not working anyway.
Close your eyes and float your raft far offshore.
Content yourself with air-filled plastic.
Handsome sun-drenched bodies rocking over gentle waves.
The grand temptation: hooky on the day of the final
when love is tested by betrayal, a kiss that costs everything.

© 2004, Christine Kallman, All Rights Reserved

Christine Kallman writes plays, song lyrics, and poems.