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In the Habit of Love

another poem for Dale

Habitual love advanced swift for us, with little time
spent attempting to impress—my blackened self-view
inhibiting genuine attempts. Still you saw through
the soot on this coal-town girl. I said, here I am,
and you accepted what I offered, an investment,
perhaps, that most would consider foolish.

Before we knew who we were or could be
we were sharing drawers, lost all personal space
and became more ‘us’ than ‘me’ and ‘you’. We
walked roads together we couldn’t have predicted.
And still with each season we change, time brings
age, and with age we pretend we acquire wisdom.

But the wisest thing we ever did was allow us
to be ‘us’. Through every up and every down
we never had to fight alone, and we attempt to ease
the other’s burdens. I won’t say we were the best we
could have been, but we survived each day, as life
demands, and learned to be ‘us’ without losing ‘me’.

Your expectations of me are more realistic than my own,
I’m working on that, working on me, cleaning soot
that permeated skin. Perhaps a worthy investment after
all, though habit makes us accustomed, idle, we take each
other for granted. So I want to remind you I love you,
and while it’s become habitual, you are the best habit I have.

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