Not

Sophie Cabot Black

 
that you are unloved
but that you love
and must decide which

to remember; tracks left
in the field, a language
of going away or coming back—

and to look up
from the single mind,
to let untangle

the far-off snow
from sky
until no longer

held as proof
is also where birds
find agreement

strung along branches
each with their own song
for the other,

every note used
to sing anyway—
how to hold the already

as the not yet
 
Copyright © 2013 by Sophie Cabot-Black. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on May 8, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Further Reading

Poems About Difficult Love
A Love Song
by William Carlos Williams
Amorosa Erranza
by Julian T. Brolaski
Anna, Thy Charms
by Robert Burns
Be Near Me
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Caboose Thoughts
by Carl Sandburg
Conspiracy to Commit Larceny: A Recipe
by Jennifer Militello
Demon and The Dove
by Miguel Murphy
Designer Kisses
by Major Jackson
Dregs
by César Vallejo
Enemies
by Dante Micheaux
He would not stay for me, and who can wonder
by A. E. Housman
How Much?
by Carl Sandburg
I Am Not Yours
by Sara Teasdale
I Do Not Love Thee
by Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
I have lived in your face
by Jean Valentine
I know I am but summer to your heart (Sonnet XXVII)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I'm A Fool To Love You
by Cornelius Eady
Last Words to Miriam
by D. H. Lawrence
Love
by Katy Lederer
Love in Fantastique Triumph satt
by Aphra Behn
Love's Secret
by William Blake
Loving and Beloved
by Sir John Suckling
My Love Sent Me a List
by Olena Kalytiak Davis
Never give all the heart
by W. B. Yeats
One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop
Opal
by Amy Lowell
Our Bed Is Also Green
by Joshua Bell
Passer Mortuus Est
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Pericardium
by Joanna Klink
Poetry Anonymous
by Prageeta Sharma
Prayer
by Robert Glück
Red and Blue Planets
by Joni Wallace
Renouncement
by Alice Meynell
Sometimes with One I Love
by Walt Whitman
Song of Myself, XI
by Walt Whitman
Sonnet 102 [If no love is, O God, what fele I so?]
by Petrarch
Sonnet 12 [Alas, so all things now do hold their peace]
by Petrarch
Talking to Patrizia
by Kenneth Koch
The Barrier
by Claude McKay
The Flight
by Sara Teasdale
The Heart Breaking
by Abraham Cowley
The More Loving One
by W. H. Auden
The Peace That So Lovingly Descends
by Noelle Kocot
The Unloved to His Beloved
by William Alexander Percy
They Romp with Wooly Canines
by Patricia Smith
They Were Not Kidding in the Fourteenth Century
by Maureen N. McLane
This Deepening Takes Place Again
by Emily Kendal Frey
To A Sea-Cliff
by Thomas Hardy
To Electra
by Robert Herrick
To His Coy Love
by Michael Drayton
UTOPIA: Love as Free as a Fountain
by Joe Hall
What Do I Care
by Sara Teasdale
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand
by Walt Whitman
Witch-Wife
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
[I Failed Him and He Failed Me]
by Katie Ford