Desideratum: a poem

GRACE SHU
Contributing Writer

You always questioned why love was considered so significant
You said that it was just a concept, an abstract idea
                              A concept is a single thought
a thing of mind conjured by theory and imagination.
Love is not a concept– love is a complicated reality.
                                Love takes time, it takes effort
You cannot expect to do whatever you wish with your life
having it come to you itself.
You have to want it, have to meet it halfway
and then, only then
can one truly appreciate love.
Love is the crystalline morning mist that creates rainbows among fog,
          the mellifluous notes that trickle like water from a piano,
          the delicate rose that blooms under the fluttering tresses of a willow tree,
          the silver moon that can be seen only in the abyss of the night sky.
Love is why we smile when we see another smiling-
it is what illuminated my eyes when I watched you
At first, it eluded me- there was no understanding why
I’d simply begun admiring you,
why every single thing you did was beautiful to me
Sitting there with my hand against my cheek
elbow on the table, glassy eyes staring
Admiring the way your hand flit across the paper when you were writing,
             the way you bit your lip and pouted when you were frustrated,
         the way you messed up your hair when you were trying to focus
The corners of your eyes would crinkle when you smiled at me
a smirk emerging with a quirk of the lips and the lift of an eyebrow
     oh, I hated you for it,
for making me that fool who told all her friends about you
but had nothing to show in return.
You told me that you cared
but you never considered that maybe, just maybe
actions are larger than words
I was disappointed every day I walked through the door
expecting a- I don’t know what I expected- a smile reminiscent of a summer day?
No. I got a nod of the head and a quick wave.
I kept on hoping.

All those quirks that others didn’t understand
became the reason I loved you.
I knew you weren’t flawless,
because the difference fancying someone and loving someone
is that instead of thinking they are perfect,
you simply accept all their flaws
And thus they are perfect to you and to you only.

My mother always said to me
“Marry someone who loves you
more than you love them,” but
I guess that never did happen with you.
They say children are naive
but children see the world most clearly
we find it easy to learn, to trust, to love
we don’t worry about ulterior motives
and so our love is the purest
and is given most freely to those around us
but is also the most painful to admit
because the recipients are so fickle
just like they say children are.
The three words were so hard to say.
They stayed between my lips because I was scared-
scared of rejection, of being cast away.
One day, though, I squeezed my eyes shut and blurted it out
and after that, it came naturally, because it was just so true.
It would roll off my tongue like I was born to say it,
          to say “I love you.”
And it really was, for life revolves around two things
being loved and loving back
Oh no, love exists not only between two people-
          you have the teachers whose honest wisdom guided you on your path to success,
          your parents who encouraged you to reach your full potential,           and your friends who have given parts of themselves to you
Their love for you made you you, and that is what love does.
      It makes one whole.
You cannot say that love is not important,
because it is the silken thread that weaves people together.
Love is a desideratum, something that we need
          I would always tell you I loved you
                                                    but you
                                                        you never said it back.

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