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Claire Bunyan, Poem

A reflection on how being in love is like having a dog

After Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
so think long and hard before deciding on love.

Love doesn’t like being left alone
and when you come home, it is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things in its passion for life,
but you can never be angry with love for long.

Love isn’t perfect. It takes practice to get things right
and even then it is still wild. It needs exercise.
It needs feeding.
It needs expensive operations when things go wrong.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other in the street.

Throw things away and love brings them back
again, and again, and again.
Love fetches the unexpected treat
and shows you what kind of person you really are.

When you want to give up,
you can’t, and you don’t, because
love is on your doorstep, smiling.

Claire Bunyan has been writing and publishing creative work for over 15 years, having first read English Literature and Creative Writing at University of Warwick and subsequently completing a doctorate at Oxford. She is unapologetically inspired by John Hegley, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Sexton and Margaret Atwood. Claire lives in Oxford with her husband and their dog, Jazzy.

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