written by © Peter Howard, first published in How Do I Love Thee 1998

Love's not so pure, and abstract, as they use
To say, which have no Mistresse but their Muse,
But as all else, being elemented too,
Love sometimes would contemplate, sometimes do.

      --- John Donne

Today, of all days, it would have been nice
To wake up lazily, argue who goes
(Or comes) on top. But put that plan on ice;
I have to get up early, while you doze.
When you climb out of bed, chaotic hair
a gold wave breaking, and your breasts alert
as you are not, I won't, alas, be there
to watch you brush your teeth, select a skirt:
such ordinary things made wonderful
because it's you who does them. Making tea,
or fetching in the milk, you're beautiful.
I'm still surprised/delighted you love me.

But I'll be back tonight, and then you'll find
That contemplative love's not on my mind.