He promises not to fall soft in love
Or to trip over lines of loveliness
When he tries to find the words to tell her
The dark tower, his hunger, vigilance.
It’s a hard road to be a quiet man
In a world where heroes shout and echo.
He speaks in jumps and starts and stop-stutters.
He defeated the herds and the henwife
He has the language of hope; open, door.
A new love stands at the door to his heart,
Clothed in his scent, his opened green checked shirt,
Now hers. He wonders what love spell she wants,
Testing lines. What words will fill, will open,
What bright courage he can find to speak them.
Noreen Ellis is a poet writing beefy love poems from her home on the north bank of the Chicago River. She is finalizing The Harp, the Hen and the Wife, a poetry collection that includes “Rowland in Love” and other re-imaginings of stories and tall tales. She is a recipient of a 2016 Troubadour International 25 for 20 Prize and has been published by Hanging Loose Press.