Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Wedding Album

Today is my wedding anniversary (well, technically yesterday the 29th was, since it's now after midnight). I wrote this piece for my husband and gave it to him as a gift. I was in the mood to write some prose. I gave him the choice, and he said that he wanted me to post it...that he loved it and wanted me to share it. :) So... this is for Derek. Happy anniversary, sweetheart.

After the writing, I've included a few of the photographs mentioned as well as a recent picture of the two of us.

Hundreds of photographs are spread across our bed, like a patchwork quilt of faces. How many times have I looked at these photos over the years? The flowers, the cake, the white dress…the beginning. I used to flip through them and reminisce about that day, thinking about all the precious little details that went into it. Now, though, on the eve of our eighth anniversary, I find myself scanning these familiar, glossy images and for once, I am not thinking about the wedding. These pictures now evoke something deep inside of me, something that goes far beyond a single day's events.

I used to look at these pictures and see the candles, their tiny flames illuminating the aisles of the sanctuary. Now I see my husband’s face, shining with a love so deep and pure as he holds our baby girl for the first time. I see her lying in his arms, still pink and new. I see his eyes burning into me and looking as if he’s seeing me for the first time, his intense stare saying the “I love you” that his speechless lips cannot yet form.

I used to feel the smooth texture of the veil slipping over my face as he lifted it to kiss me ever so gently, but also with the intensity of knowing that I was now his flesh and blood. Now I feel the cold surface of the doorway as I lean into it, watching helplessly as he says goodbye to his hero. I see him there, kneeling by the bedside of his father, unselfishly whispering, “It’s alright. You can let go. We’re going to be fine.” Forever branded into my mind is the image of his hazel eyes, the green amplified on this particular day, holding back the tears that I could not. I feel the shudder deep inside of me as his father slips from this world, still holding my husband’s hand, and once again I encounter a stabbing pain deep in my chest-the pain that comes with knowing that all the love I feel for this man cannot bring his father back to him.

I used to hear “Canon in D” coming from a distant piano, floating in the air around me and meshing with the sounds of my own shallow breaths. I would recall with a smile my respiratory rhythms as I waited behind those closed doors, syncopated by the occasional deep inhaling that came after reminding myself, “Just breathe.” Now, a sly grin spreads across my face as I hear the sound of our feet, pitter-pattering down the long hallway, stopping only once for a passionate embrace and a lingering kiss on my neck. I hear the "shhhhh" escape from my mouth as we try not to wake the toddler asleep at the foot of our bed and I feel my pursed lips bending into a smile as he ignores my scolding and laughs out loud once again. I hear his heartbeat, indistinguishable from mine, as we make love on the living room floor.

I still think about our wedding from time to time, but far more often I think about our marriage- about the life we’ve lived together since the last rose petal dropped. My thoughts turn, not to the promises we made, but instead to the ways in which we have kept them, broken them, forgiven each other, and strived to keep them once again. I understand now that marriage is not a vow made with words on a Saturday afternoon. It is a continual act of loving and learning and becoming one. It’s more than a few fading photographs lying on our bed. It is the vibrant portrait we paint each day in living color.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

winter solstice-
the sun's distance
when enjoying
the nearness of you
(Welcome home, Mr. Riggs.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

tossing in the sheets-
cold, moonless night
absent of dreams

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009


When all is stripped away-
the make-up, the pretense,
and my little black dress
lies wrinkled on the floor…
do you still see me?

When the mirror reveals
these soft lines now lingering
around my eyes, sure to deepen
in the coming years…
do you still see me?

When the girl I was,
living somewhere deep inside,
is lost in the curved sillouette
of the woman I’ve become…
do you still see me?

When this decade of adulthood
begins to show on my face,
a knowing expression replacing
the innocence that captured you-
do you still see me?

When the daylight has faded
along with every distraction,
and you hold me like it’s the first time
and kiss me like it’s the last,
that’s when I see you…seeing me.

(Today is my 28th birthday. "A decade of adulthood"...and still so much to learn. This is dedicated to my husband, who after all these birthdays celebrated together, still sees me and loves me everyday. The feeling is mutual.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

malevolent wind
rattles my Christmas spirit-
bills in the mailbox

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Dreams

tangled in twilight,
enchanted by the moon
as it slowly rises
over treetops that sway
in the warm breeze,
thick with honeysuckle scent-
watching this waltz
of leaves and light,
I, too, am moved
by the rhythm
of sunset turning to dusk,
of thoughts turning to dreams,
and touched by the heartbreak
of fireflies becoming illusions,
of June becoming December
at the sound of my alarm...

Monday, December 7, 2009

in the middle of the bed-
absent moon
(Missing him...ten weeks down, two to go...I'm getting weary.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

sand and waves
become pillow and sheets-
cursing the rooster
sun glistens
on the frost-covered ground-
first morning kiss
midnight whispers
echo deep inside-
daylight moon
heartbeats mesh
with hard rain on the rooftop-
night rhythms

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Note from Old Man Winter...

I arrive in the dead of night
when the world is still and void of light
and unaware, you lie in bed
with dreams of summer in your head-
all shimmering and bright...

And when you wake to find me here,
that sad expression will appear,
the one that says, "Oh no! Not yet!"
Oh, how quickly you forget
what beauty ends the year.

So quietly, like each December
I abide while you remember
the lovely sound of crunching snow
and crackling fires, all aglow-
first spark to final ember...

And pale moonlight, soft on your skin
that blush of pink, warmth from within
as you stroll through my icy field
and bare tree limbs, their souls revealed,
beguile you once again.

Of course I know that seasons fade
and the first red bloom or bright green blade
will likely your affections steal-
just don't forget the true appeal
of snowflakes on parade.