(1) write a poem with the title "_______ of Love", and
(2) write an elegy, using some unusual aspect, quirk or habit of the person's character.
This past month marks the tenth anniversary of my beloved father-in-law's death, and coincidentally, when Maureen Thorson was giving examples, she mentioned an aunt who whistled through her teeth whenever she was solving a crossword puzzle. My father-in-law had a similar habit, so I "stole" Maureen's idea to include in my poem.
The Measurement of Love
"Anything worth doing is worth doing well."
That was his mantra. He moved through life
with measured determination. That was his
other favorite saying. "Measure twice, cut once."
Whether putting up wallpaper in the dining room,
or making a dollhouse for his girls, he always made sure
it met his specifications, the same precision
he brought to work in his metal shop.
He had a habit of whistling through his teeth,
that semi-musical wheeze that became
the soundtrack for any job.
He applied that same deliberation to anything -
doing the daily crossword in the paper,
even if it took hours to fill in the last letter.
In his marriage, too, there was a kind of precision -
his wife, almost the opposite - and he tempered
her temper with reason, always selecting the right word
to fill in the conversation, always making sure
everything fit together just so.
That was his longest project - sixty-five years -
it was worth doing, and worth doing well.