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Image by Toa Heftiba


the madrigal, volume iv

There Are Many Ways To Love And This Is What You Mean To Me

by elizabeth chadwick pywell

When you ask But why do you love me? and I say something trite
about your beauty or your courage or your mind, what I actually mean is
I love the way your kitchen smells of cinnamon and honey and dates,
and how you keep a notebook by the bed for me, and lend me socks and pants,
and the way you cwtch your children, and the fact your ex’s dog adores you,
and that every plant on your windowsill is almost - not quite - dead,
and your lists of books you mean to read and films you swear you’ll see,
and the way you teach me language with your fingers and your tongue,
and how we chat philosophy in the bath where we don’t quite fit
but move your leg a bit and it’ll work, and how your bed is never made
but when you sleep at my place, the washing up is done by fairies,
and how you fuss my cat, though she’s a savage, lesser mutt,
and how you love me, and how you love me, and how you love me
              - and your beauty, and your courage, and your mind.

Elizabeth Chadwick Pywell is a lesbian poet from York whose collection exploring forgotten or ignored female voices, ‘Unknown,’ co-written with Anna Rose James, was published in 2021. Her pamphlet, Breaking (Out), about re-examining sexuality in middle age, was recently published by Selcouth Station Press. She is currently working on a collection about ancestry and landscape.

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