"Is there a way to love and not die?" the poet asked,
and I remember the feeling of having given
my whole heart, and how easily he walked away,
the devastation, and then, the anger, that once again
I had been played for a fool.
Each time, the long years after to re-grow that heart.
Each time, re-learning that the only one I could trust
to protect my heart was me - and my big black wolf.
Each time, the rising up again to blue skies
and clouds and the way the sea looks silvery
in certain lights. That sky got me through
a lot of hard passages, kept me Looking Up.
Yes, there's a way to love and not die, I reply,
when your lover is Mother Earth, when
the beauty and wonder of the natural world
makes you catch your breath in awe
and delight. When a being with black fur
shows you how love is meant to be done,
so you will never again mistake it
for the false promises of someone
who knew all the pretty words,
but never meant a single one.
Inspired by the line from Joy Sullivan's poem Wood Frog that is italicized.