Over the weekend, my brother-in-law was married to my lovely new sister-in-law in a Quaker ceremony. The ceremony included a period wherein those assembled were invited to rise and speak to the couple.
My oldest son “screwed his courage to the sticking place” and leapt onto his chair to recite a poem we had discovered recently; many of those present have asked for a copy of this poem, and we like it so much I thought I’d post it here as well.
From FALLING IN LOVE IS LIKE OWNING A DOG
by Taylor Mali
First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So, think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Sometimes love just wants to go for a nice long walk.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.
We found this poem in Caroline Kennedy’s A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Young Children, a truly fabulous collection illustrated by the ethereal watercolors of Jon J. Muth.
I cannot say enough good things about Muth’s artwork; in fact, I think I’m going to have to dedicate a separate post to it. For now, suffice it to say that this volume of poetry is an absolute must-have for any household with children in it.