Like and Care

by Richard Levine

I think of us, of how, at first,
being kind seemed enough.

Though we didn’t say it, we thought,
if forests grow from red-clover meadows,
why not love?

But like and care are not strong enough
to send down roots deep enough,
or carry water far and high enough
to make them more than what they are.

And they are not love.

Whatever else love is, it is more
than like and care, more than wanting
to believe it is where it is not.

I tried.  You did, too.  And we were kind,
until we hurt each other so thoroughly.

And that red-clover meadow,
where we first made love and laughed,
might be a mature forest by now.
But it never was ours.