by Kim Kelly
Just because I’m feeling particularly in love today, here’s one of my favourite odes to this delicious emotion – “Vow” by Clare Shaw.
That word on your lips
is a kiss;
is a promise already made.
We made it.
Love did not turn from hurt
or hard work.
When lights failed, it did not switch off.
When love had no road,
we willingly built it.
We shouldered its stones
and its dirt. So thank god
there are days like this when it’s easy.
When we open our mouths
and the words flood in.
Put the word of your hand
We have learnt to hold to each other
when nothing was given by right;
how love will insist
with its ache; with its first painful
tug on the guts;
its snake in the nest of the ribs;
the bomb in the chest;
in the Y of the thighs; the red, red
red sun of it, rising.
How love must, at all costs,
be answered. We have answered
and so have a million before us
and each of their names is a vow.
So now I can tell you, quite simply
you are the house I will live in:
there is no good reason
to move. Good earth,
you are home, stone, sun,
all my countries. Vital to me
as the light. You are it
and I am asking.
Love opens a door
then slams it. It does.
It loses its touch and its looks.
But love needs its fury.
We have fought
and when times make it necessary,
we will again. When night draws in,
we won’t forget
how once the streets ran wet with light
and love. Like blood. They will again.
But for now,
we make our promises gently.
This extraordinary day we have made.
the birds in their ordinary heaven.
Tonight the sky will blaze
with stars. Today, my love,
rooms bloom with flowers.
The sky is ours.
You can check out more of Clare Shaw’s poetry here:: http://www.clareshaw.co.uk/3.html