Love Should Grow, Not Wither


Love should be silent and whisper

As the gentle wind


Cracked cheeks in dead winter,

Fast as the rolling thunder

Lightning the sky before stars dream—

Love should be earthy

As the laughter of children.

Love should build words in time

As the sun rises,

Leaving, as the sun sets

Rays to bloom roses,

Leaving, as the sun hides behind the mountain

Darkness that somehow yields to light—

Love should build words in time

As birds sing and fly.

Love should be free to—


For all the pain

A heart endures and a salty tear.

For love

The aching sounds and sweet breaths of life—

Love should grow,

Not wither.



–by Leonard A. Slade Jr.

Reprinted from Jazz After Dinner: Selected Poems