Love wears so many veils.
In its most popular incarnation it has swag with roses,
a sauntering strut of confidence
with romance and promises in its hands.
It envelops with the cockiness of youth and whispers of what will be
it visits bedrooms in the silky night
and shows the stars and moon as proof of its passion.

Sometimes love comes as the palm oil with which words are eaten.
It is the gentle tonic soothing the worried brow
of the mother as she rocks her child in the dusk light.
It allows the grit and the dirt that sticks to our human life
to be washed away like the red soil that sticks to our feet
under a soft African rain.

Love ages like wine with a depth in its casket.
The bond of friendship gets spun with ever-gathering haste and thread
strands of a thousand and one colours get tied together
making the tie lasting and strong.
Love is there in the weaving and the pain.
Love is there in the rich tapestry we create.

He who truly loves you loves you with your dirt
he loves you as God would love you
sacrificial and without gain.
As your outer beauty fades by firelight he seeks all that is within
and carries your cares in his hands
and holds you like a river holds its swell.

Love is fluid like the drops of dew that form in morning light
but permanent as the cotton tree that aches in midday sun.
It is a promise we cannot keep but one our soul declares daily.
Let your love be like a delicate misty rain
let it come softly
but when the time comes stoke it like a fire
so it burns the darkness away

– by me, Laura, 2016.