Our kisses are not the stuff of movie magic.
Our embraces do not make heart-sick teens swoon.
Our banter will never trend #relationshipgoals.
But when you send our toddling daughter,
grinning with mischief,
into the bathroom where I’m trying
to have just one moment of privacy
(on the toilet!)
and I hear you laughing like a madman outside the door,
I know you’re really saying, “I love you.”
The fire’s no longer pulsing with the blue heat of newly ignited romance.
The fresh-felled logs of youth are drier and more brittle.
The burn is slow and perhaps
But the embers are keeping.
And when I wish for the passion of a green heart unmarred
by the constancy and lunacy of such a thing as marriage,
when I yearn for the fireworks of decades past, I look
into the steady glow of our unremarkable love and find
For where else but within the confines of an unremarkable marriage can
a bowel movement spoiled
become a moment of sparking flame leaping
with joy, lit with magnificence against the backdrop of a starry sky?
change the air filters
get the oil changed
make the dentist appointment (has it really been 3 years?)
drink enough water
exercise and get your steps
balance the budget
schedule the autopay
invest in retirement
give the kids enough veggies
save for the kids’ college
bathe the dog (does he need his shots?)
keep in touch with family
do the laundry/dishes/shopping
donate to charity
water the plants
bring the snacks
Purple day at school
make time for self-care
make time for family
make it happen
ALL the birthdays, anniversaries, due dates, deadlines, check-ups, check-ins, check-outs, happy hours, meetings, conferences, events, what am I forgetting…
And definitely don’t forget
the 746 passwords and PINS
to be kind
be a model for your kids
be a good parent
be a good wife
be a good daughter
be it all
But don’t be hysterical.
…and don’t snap…
November rains bring winds swirling,
twirling yellow leaves to stick on the windshield.
Thunder grumbles on the drive,
the morning radio for once silent as we listen –
the squeak of wipers
tires wet on pavement
whirring warmth of heated air
blowing on the glass.
I see her in the rearview, sitting in her carseat
troubling with her shoes as always.
Then I hear it, the wisp of a song,
not quite a melody, not quite a hum
but more than a word, more than word!
I’ve never heard her sing before.
The aged tea tastes the same
today as yesterday – with a squeeze
of honey. But the tulips
now, those are wilted.
More open, yes, but drooping,
the fresh clear water of last
week gone murky. Slimy.
I am older, happier, sadder, fatter
than this time last year. And
the day broke cold and rainy
this morning. But
the tea tastes the same.
“But when we are able to recognize the poles between which we move and develop a sensitivity for this inner field of tension, then we no longer have to feel lost and can begin to discern the direction in which we want to move.” – Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out
i am alone
connected to the thread
i am mine
all creation bears my name
(as yours is imprinted upon my heart)
I stand in a crowd
of harried shoppers, solitaries
searching among racks
of half-priced post-Christmas sales –
the satisfaction of
the deep craving of
a lonely heart?
– and I consider restlessness – an ache
to attach to
a tether of goods
to consume and fill
the empty void of need.
Dreading eternal isolation, the hum
mmmmmmming louder each moment.
Retreat retreat retreating from loneliness,
companionship quiets the ever impending
-for a time-
Being with myself, I
am converted to a new way:
alone in the crowd. My
restful inner necessity has nothing to say
in this moment.
Loneliness becomes solitude
The quiet inner center need not
say a thing
in the unity
of the crowd.