“Human Love”

Click here to listen to Doreen Gildroy read this poem. When the child wouldn’t come into existence what was I to do? I knew it in a different way, then.

He said he had never heard
these stories
before we began, didn’t care—
but now in his grief
they seemed everywhere.


I was missing you,
and then the dove.

Singly—not in a pair—
in his usual place.

I watched him
on the garden wall,
thought the absence
of the other.

Whatever the reason,
I took it to
remind me of myself
and what I was missing.

It flew up
in the face of
all my instinct,
my raw animal comfort.


His was a tender embrace.

There was nothing going on
around it,

no fury
driving me on.

In spite of the pain
I was offering something.

Some days this seems
everything I understand.