Friday, February 4, 2011

Anniversary Thoughts

ON MARRIAGE

I confess that I entered marriage with a hope and a prayer that it would be better than my mother's. In fact, I expected to abandon marriage rather than become as dissatisfied as she was.

She had three sisters, and when I was a young girl, none of them were married, and they seemed much more contented. You'd think I'd follow in their footsteps. But they had to compromise in ways that I would have found disappointing. Because my aunts were single, they never quite fit in at church socials and had no place at school events. Outside of the family, they had virtually no social life.

My parents stayed together, in part because my mother had no where to go with four children. She also realized that we children loved our father and would have been hurt by the separation. After many years of unhappiness, she finally grew to appreciate my father after we children became independent adults. By the time he died, he was her best friend.

My husband and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary this weekend. I'm inclined to think I'm happier staying married whatever the difficulties. I haven't met many persons who seem to have improved their lot by divorcing.

I've written poems about marriage. The one below is about a friend whose marriage survived her husband's infatuation for another woman. Much to my surprise, they're now happily living together.

My thanks to Catfish Stew where the poem first appeared.


ANOTHER WIFE'S MAN

That there was darkness
on the other side of earth
never occurred to her.
His indigo moods were dazzling
and though he drove her lexicon
into a pond of frigid water,
she made an ark from urchins
in the mud bottom and
sailed above his unfathom.

But after seventeen years,
he didn’t look the same.
A fiction came between them
and hid in the daughter’s heart
and behind the son’s eyes.
While she was asleep, he left
her pillow in his past and hurled
headlong toward an always greener.

Morning broke without warning,
and she woke up alone,
for he was in love but without her.

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