Love is the quietest of all things.
I suspected this when I first started reading Beso The Donkey Poems by Richard Jarrette back in May. When I finished reading the poems this week, I knew this truth.
Beso The Donkey found its way into my life because I admitted to SS that I liked poetry, but I just didn’t get it. It sounded bad. An MFA graduate still eluded by verse, but SS didn’t judge. She directed me to the book because it was “sweet as can be, even for those of us who are downright afraid of poetry.”
The question, “Why bother with relationships you know will end?” was on my mind when I started reading the book. Fifteen poems in, I had to set Beso aside to write a short story, just to answer the question.
Then I forgot all about Beso until this weekend when I ran into KS and we spoke of passion, chainsaws, and poetry.
KS: What people just don’t get is that poetry is all around us from the start. People think that their first exposure is when they get to seventh or eighth grade and some teacher pushes a poem on them, but I mean, just think of music, of all those lyrics we’ve been hearing . . .
I took up Beso again. This time I headed down to the Minnesota River Valley where I sat on a log and read the book front to back with the changing autumn leaves. Jarrette showed me a donkey that could gaze with the tragic dignity of Abraham Lincoln, a stream of gold that poured from his backlit silhouette, and the lingering record of Beso’s tracks in the mud as a lost civilization. All I had to do was look down in the dry riverbed, and I could imagine Beso plodding along beside me.
Jarrette wrote, “oaks feel a tiny shiver when a moth sighs.”
And in this sentence I knew, really knew, just how love is the quietest of all things.