As the weekend unfolds, we are all in anticipation of spending time with our loved ones and doing the things we love.  Ah love! That elusive, maddening four letter word!  Just when you think you have got the hang of it, it changes face and slithers out of your reach. But I think celebrated American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni had quite a satisfactory grasp of what it is. Here is her award winning work to help us in our struggle to love better.


Some people forget that love is

tucking you in and kissing you

“Good night”

no matter how young or old you are


Some people don’t remember that

love is

listening and laughing and asking


no matter what your age


Few recognize that love is

commitment, responsibility

no fun at all



Love is

You and me



if i can’t do

what i want to do

then my job is to not

do what i don’t want

to do


it’s not the same thing

but it’s the best i can



if i can’t have

what i want … then

my job is to want

what i’ve got

and be satisfied

that at least there

is something more to want


since i can’t go

where i need

to go … then i must … go

where the signs point

through always understanding

parallel movement

isn’t lateral


when i can’t express

what i really feel

i practice feeling

what i can express

and none of it is equal


i know

but that’s why mankind

alone among the animals

learns to cry