I Thought I Knew





I thought I knew
What Love was.
But what is true
Is that I knew
The smell and taste
Of just the base
Of the whole beanstalk.
I was so sure
It was all there was.

What I know now
Is the substance
A personality
Can only tell
Stories about.
Only a ripe soul
Maybe shattered
Can recognize
And carry;
Maybe share
The numinous
Which is surely
Our shared legacy
From God.

The daffodils
Don’t give a hoot
If you get their name right
But loneliness ensues
If you refuse
The yellowness of their best yellow
Quietly laid at our feet.
I think their gift
Is no different
Than the press
My dog keeps gifting my thigh.
Also- the toothless and unashamed grin,
Slightly shy
The street musician laid on me
Seems the same.

I only say:
The love I know now
Is too big to fit in words.
It is me
In my spectacular brokenness
And reclamation;
The whole shebang!
My breath
You breathe
And I breathe once more,
Gratitude laid
At my own feet
And yours.


C. Aten February 2016



7 Responses to “I Thought I Knew”

  1. Rita Kindl Myers on February 15th, 2016

    this poem is a beautiful gift. Thank you!

  2. Joe on February 15th, 2016

    Oddest Valentine poem I ever got but love it just the same.


  3. gerry harty on February 15th, 2016

    Thank you Cathy…Left me speechless!!! xoxo

  4. Adele on February 15th, 2016

    Takes my breath away…..xxx

  5. Alexandra Eldridge on February 16th, 2016

    stunningly touching! thank you for your gift to us. XXA

  6. Jann Tenenbaum on February 16th, 2016

    What an honor to read this. I always wonder how you do it, how you write so beautifully, so close to the bone, so forgiving of the world. You always add to my day, I have gratitude for you. Jann

  7. Barbara McDaniel on March 10th, 2016

    But loneliness ensues
    If you refuse
    The yellowness of their best yellow —

    this brought tears to my eyes, so so true. darling!

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