Love begets Love
The night my mother died,
neither the man I’d recently slept with,
nor the one before who had given me a ring,
answered the phone.
The one who showed at her funeral,
I hadn’t dated in four years.
He was happily betrothed to another.
But this time, you,
you were there.
Holding the children’s hands,
inciting a pillow fight,
rubbing the small of my back,
holding my sobs close to your chest as I wept.
But that’s not the story I want to tell.
I want to write about your curves.
When I first held you,
I couldn’t help but compare,
larger hands, slightly less hair there,
a lot more there, slenderer, quieter.
You, not him.
I compared you,
unfairly, of course, as one does.
But now I have gained a new voice singing,
a new voice singing, whistling, rather
a new life signaling life,
an urging forward.
Love begets love
Loss begets loss
But, in this moment, now,
the supple texture of your back,
your breath warming my cheeks.
A rich yellow pear sliced open by a gleaming
pocket knife, it’s glistening juices
dripping down our chins,
crisp, fresh, autumnal love.
Deirdre Fagan is a widow, newlywed, and mother of two who has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Connotation Press, Eunoia Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Mothers Always Write, Words Apart, and Yellow Chair Review, among others. She teaches literature and writing at Ferris State University. Meet her at deirdrefagan.com