I was driving home from a weekend away with my husband next to me and our daughter in the back of the car. Unusually, we'd spent most of the weekend apart - she with family, and the two of us with various respective friends. At two and a half, her independence surprises and impresses me; we both missed her far more than she missed us.
I drove north along the motorway, back home to the house we share, and we listened to Poetry Please on the car radio. The last poem was Stars and Planets, by Norman Maccaig, and I listened to the line describing our Earth as 'This poor sad bearer of wars and disasters' and was struck even harder by how precious these two people are to me. How precious and unlikely this family, bundled up together in my little car, is. I love them so much that sometimes I can barely think of anything else.
Polyamory has taught me that as precious and surprising as this love is, there is room for more. I may live with my daughter and my husband, but my boyfriend, no matter what, will always have a seat at our table. My three great loves, and me, 'Rolls-Roycing round the sun with its load of gangsters'. Maybe one day there will be five, or more of us. I like thinking about that.
I would not pretend that polyamory has always made our lives better. People are not always what they seem, and the world is unpredictable. Those who say they love you can do hurtful things because you let them get so close. All of us have been burned in one way or another by opening ourselves up.
We let people in more carefully these days, but we still let people in.
- Stars and Planets, by Norman MacCaig
Trees are cages for them: water holds its breath
To balance them without smudging on its delicate meniscus.
Children watch them playing in their heavenly playground;
Men use them to lug ships across oceans, through firths.
They seem so twinkle-still, but they never cease
Inventing new spaces and huge explosions
And migrating in mathematical tribes over
The steppes of space at their outrageous ease.
It's hard to think that the earth is one –
This poor sad bearer of wars and disasters
Rolls-Roycing round the sun with its load of gangsters,
Attended only by the loveless moon.