Love. It should be simple, right? But it can be one of the hardest things. Even the poet Rilke says “To love is good, love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks….the work for which all other work is but preparation.” Expressing love? That can be harder still.

How can I say thank you big enough?
How can I let this person know how much they taught me? How they changed my life?
How can I tell them how proud I am of their journey. Their decision. Their bravery.
How crazy madly deeply I am in love with them?
How can I remember this moment? Before it all changes. For better, or worse.
How can I remember this person. Before it all changes. For better or worse.
How can I speak my love, even though I am filled with grief?
How can I speak my truth, even though I am filled with fear?

My name is cin and my business is poemgrown. And these are some of the questions I help my clients answer. With poetry.

Everyone’s lives are filled with incredible love stories, but sometimes our hearts need a louder voice and someone to listen and translate. I call myself a poet, but really? I am a translator of love.

What follows are a handful of excerpts from commissioned poems that helped my clients answer what their hearts were whispering…

The first is a celebration of friendship and girl power! Tracey came to me with a request to help her beloved childhood friend Allison, who was going through a big life transition, remember that she was not alone…


   Inside you lives this girl—
wearing adventure, posing
   until life clicks, then
off to follow life’s lead, wise
woman becoming wiser.

   Home never leaves you,
how ever far you wander.
   We found us at 9
and are still unlosable.
Our home in each other, built.


This next excerpt is an example of a love that felt particularly complicated. Susan wanted to celebrate her daughter’s 24th birthday but shared with me that her daughter had recently chosen the name “Ash” and was in the midst of a gender transition. Susan wanted to be able to express her unconditional love without making Ash feel self-conscious or overwhelmed. She emailed me the day after she gifted Ash with the poem, to say Ash had felt truly seen and loved.

Exactly Safe
                  for Ash

At the core of us, lives light.
Though it often feels like we are filled with dark, and
this influences each of the 99 truths that name us.

And on
and on
we go.

We almost can’t bare such lightness, trapped
in these earth-bound bodies as we are. Sometimes
it’s hard to remember it’s even there.

That’s why we cannot be held to just one name.
This being human is quite a condition.
You though, Ash, were born fluid. You are

the opposite of skin, of what holds us in.
You are water and fire, earth and air,
everything that cannot be contained.

You are what brings us out.
Out of the darkness (our comfort zone.)
Out of the ordinary (our narrowness.)

When you were born, love rose like a phoenix
from the ashes of every hurt heart and
sighed, knowing it was safe at last.


But how do we express love to an experience? Gratitude to a place? This commission was a request from a grateful mom who, as her second child was about to graduate, wanted to let her children’s school know how she felt. The poem was printed in the commencement book that everyone received at graduation.

How We Learn

Dear School,

I witness my children becoming
people I want to know, and I know
they learned this from you.

You have prompted and pushed.
Modeled, mused. You are safe,
like arms. Home, when they are not.

Your practiced path has led them
from two to perfect. As in perfectly able.
Perfectly compassionate. Perfectly

ready. I am witness to this twice.
First a son, now a daughter. Both
leave your doors perfectly themselves,

their path secure within them.
“Of all things love is the most potent.”
Dear Maria Montessori, thank you.

Near North Montessori, thank you.
Through our hearts, our hands, our
spirit. With gratitude for this path.

With faith. With many. With ourselves.
And always, always, with love.
This is how we learn.


“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die everyday for lack of what is found there.” William Carlos Williams

This quote reminds me of the power of poetry to help us understand and celebrate this extraordinary experience we are all having together on this planet, in these human bodies. Shining a light on the love in our lives can make even the darkest corners feel safe. And even though love can feel complicated, expressing it doesn’t have to be…

So, have you hired your poet yet? Let’s get together for a cup of something wonderful and you can tell me your love story….

cin salach,

Content provided by Women Belong member cin salach