Creation of Connection

A married man chasing after
a single woman knows this stuff,
but you can read it in the news
just as well. The science of love

dictates the long unflinching gaze,
to snuggle without fidgeting,
find that vulnerable chink, and then
just do things together, new things.

So how to make it work after
you’ve already grown apart?
The halting holiday dinner
with the kids who’ve long since moved out,

the in-laws who remain polite
but an uncertain mystery,
the piecrust you want to praise,
but it depends on who made it.

Why can’t it be as simple as
the dog who snuffles at your hand,
then lays heavily on your feet
and insists on being petted?


3 responses to “Creation of Connection

  1. you started writing about me. somewhat critically, I see.
    love you. still.

  2. I really like the ending of the Creation of Connection (dogs are masters of affection). The poem seems to resonate with several family gatherings I have been to in the past two years (my brother’s second marriage, my father’s latest marriage, a broken marriage in my sister in law’s family). Family gatherings to allow reconnection (and even forgiveness) – but remaining distant all the same.

  3. This came from a Scientific American article I read yesterday that was posted to Facebook.

    The article proposed in part that you can intentionally create love & respect where none exists through scientifically applying certain behavioral interventions. Comments on the post suggested making this required at the opening session for the House & Senate and similar groups.

    I have misgivings about the prescriptive intentional use of these techniques, except in therapeutic applications. As a long time single woman, I’ve actually met quite a number of men who use these techniques intentionally, not spontaneously. Ultimately, it breaks the purpose of the gestures —rather than creating trust, they create mistrust. Or rather, once the techniques misapplied succeed a few times in creating misplaced trust, they then create misplaced mistrust — you end up not knowing when it is appropriate to trust or not. I suspect if these were used as they are proposing in the article, that is what would happen.

    You are right about the dogs – with them it is always spontaneous. It makes no sense to mistrust a dog’s affection.

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