89 Ways to Say I Love You

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Contributor: Milton P. Ehrlich

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I love the way you walk
and talk and never stop,
and love your smile and
when you call my name.
You are prim and proper
yet remain sensually alive,
and how I love your yawn
when I scratch your back,
and how you always dress
so your total outfit matches
as if you are on a runway
in a photo fashion show,
and how you wash my clothes
even when it’s not necessary,
but do prepare warm pajamas
in the winter and short ones
in the spring and summer,
and how you shine my shoes
and thanks a lot for trimming
the hair in my ears, and I love
how our bodies always meet
in fine dove-tailed fashion
like old pine floor boards,
and how you always hum
my favorite tunes and sing
and dance at the drop of a hat,
and eat like a bird all day long
and don’t eat meat and worry
about me when I cross a street,
and feed me great vegetable soup
with tarragon and rosemary,
and think of new original ideas
for your super-duper visionary art,
and have such a huge loving heart
that never fails to embrace me
and your kids and grandkids
and Sparky and Aretha,
and how brave you are
even when you’re scared
how you sailed across a bay
just to keep me company
how wonderful to know you,
who knows about everything
and doesn’t forget anything,
and how you can tell if an omen
is really an omen and you have
such great intuition to know
what I’m feeling before I know it,
and who to trust and who to avoid
and did I mention how I love it
when you talk in your sleep
and give such good massages
whenever I can’t fall asleep,
and how much I love your hands
and fingernails which are never
painted red or purple like others
and how cute your little feet are
and how much I love each toe
especially your delicate pinky,
not to mention your mighty bosoms
and buns of steel that never wither
and how much I love you for loving
snails and being afraid of snakes,
and always worrying when I drive
that I won’t hit the brakes,
and did I mention how much I love
your charm and friendly curiosity
about everyone you meet on the street,
and how wonderful it is that you are
always taking pictures of this and that
and how brilliant you are making art
and also that I never heard you fart,
not even once, a Guinness Book of Records,
and that you don’t love real money
but hide it in your knipple, crunched up
in a ball, just green bits of paper to you.
I love you for loving my sense of direction
and fertilizing your eggs for you to hatch
3 amazing kids and 6 wonderful grandkids,
and I love you for not being afraid
of leaving your body and when you do
please be sure to take me with you.
Thank you very much for spending
so many splendid years with plain old me
providing us with a nest of Le Mariage Parfait!

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Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 87- year-old psychologist and a veteran of the Korean War. He has published many poems in periodicals such as the London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Times.


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