I had lunch with an old friend yesterday and had a long bus ride home after. The ride was good, because I wrote a poem about two young people, a Somali woman in traditional clothing and a Euro-American man in backpack and jeans, standing at a bus stop, obviously very much in love.They were an amazing sight, just standing facing each other, but with love shining out of them.
I have a long series of poems that I’ve written about bus trips and the people I see on buses.
But the lunch was not entirely comfortable, because I was thinking about the process of growing old. When I got home I said to Patrick, “Am I eroding? Have I changed from the person you first met?”
Patrick said, “To me you look the same as you did when we first met, and you were wearing the purple dress with white triangles.”
I did in fact have a Marimekko dress, purple with a pattern of white triangles, and I was wearing it when Patrick and I first met in 1971.
So I wrote another, very short poem:
Love changes everything,
even the old.
Because we have, of course, changed, but it is love that changes us back.