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how to say

Listen to Glenn’s poem, “How to Say,” set to music by Jeff Enns and sung by Jennifer Enns-Modolo, with Loren Shalanko at the piano:

How to say
(May 24, 2009)

The way to say “I love you” to someone
is to say “I love you” to that person
This has come to my attention
“I love you” means “I love you”
and merits
being said
to the person
for whom you feel that love

Various gestures and clipped phrases
do not
say “I love you”

As lovely as a home-cooked casserole
or cheque for some needed money
or gift certificate for an indulgence
and is loving, nurturing, caring

It is not the same as saying
“I love you”
it is not

“Love ya”’ or “You’re my girl”
or “You’re the best wife, mother, daughter”
or some Hallmark equivalent
nice and perhaps true

But it is not the same as saying
“I love you”

Do not mistake a gesture for the
declaration of love
nor heavy sentiment for its
clear articulation

Do not misjudge the brevity
of our existence
in missing the opportunity to say
“I love you”

Nor misjudge the simplicity of the
clear statement
with empty blathering, over-repetition
to meaninglessness

Do not wait until your voice has dried
and your sunken eyes
mournfully cry “I love you”

Do not wait until your deathbed
or someone else’s

Do not give expression to love
in the heat of passion
nor as an act of contrition

Like any real gift, give expression
freely, under no duress,
with no sense of obligation
or awkward burden

Tell all those that you love
that you love them
not just your spouse, your lover,
your beloved

Tell them now or certainly soon

Say to each person that you truly love,
where your mutual love
is a bond beyond
the nature of an ordinary relationship,

“I love you”

For the only way to do this
I know
The only way to say “I love you” to someone
is to say “I love you”


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