Love Takes a Bow: New and Collected Poems

love takes a bow Love Takes a Bow celebrates love in all its forms - from the first kiss of childhood to the last at death, from the loss of a pet who slept on its back to the loss of a friend who wrote symphonies for automobiles, from the blare of what's permanent in our lives to the transient whispers of love, from failed one night stands to mature and enduring love, from the love of strangers we will never meet to the love of partners we will spend our lives with, from love of flawed parents to the infatuated glow of first love, from wildly erotic love to failed marriage, from innocent love to love in the shadow of death, from love of children and family to love of a crippled saleswoman who sells cantaloupes. Love is Proteus that can take any form to free or enslave us. It is our personal history that imprisons us in its vise grip. It is the key to self-knowledge and the rusted chains and lock of psychosis. It is life. It is death. If we are fully human, we learn to celebrate its calm waters and the daemons that lurk below the surface. We embrace love, seek it out like lost children, and do our best to survive the tides of love that rip us apart, send us gasping for air, and fling us onto love's rocky shores.

Book Details

Paperback: 132 pages
Publisher: Imago Press (April 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935437186
ISBN-13: 978-1935437185
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My mother took a moral stand against it,
said television was the work of the devil,
said my father’s wanting it showed how
weak he really was. But, for once, he stood
firm. It was a blond GE with a twelve inch
screen—a blond whore my mother couldn’t
have hated more. After supper, we sat on the sofa

in the dark, my mother wedged in the middle,
hands over her ears, back straight, her worn,
leather Bible on her lap. My father switched it on.
Roller Derby came at us like a train on fire,
women on skates trying to kill one another—
knees to the midsection, elbows to the neck,
hair pulling, eye-gouging. Suddenly my mother

leaned forward and yelled, “Kill her. Oh, kill her.
Hit her in the mouth.” She jabbed us with her elbows,
moved to the edge of the sofa. Her Bible lay splayed
at her feet, like an injured player. During a commercial
she read aloud from John 12:46. I am come a light
into the world, that whosoever believeth on me
should not abide in darkness. Amen, she said as the men

took the track. She marked her place with a finger,
sat forward again and yelled, “Kill him, kick him.
That’s it. Oh, hurt him.” My father excused himself
to get a glass of water. I sat on the floor to escape
her sharp elbow. And, years later, this is the way
I remember her: alone, agitated, the empty space

around her expanding, the wild, festering pleasure
she took in wrestling, boxing, and roller derby, that Bible
always within reach, proof to all that a better place awaited her.