Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Forty-three years

My husband Bob and I are married forty-three years today. I'd say it is a miracle considering all the nay sayers at the time we said, "I do." My parents were openly hostile to our getting married since my husband was not our same religion. Don't I look a little up tight at the scene - a judges chamber?




Since we had both been married before, we had a tiny wedding - about ten witnesses at the ceremony and for dinner at a local restaurant afterward. But that didn't matter to us. We were confident about what we were doing. And that has never changed even though we experienced the greatest loss any mother and father can have - the death of a child.

Yet now we still can laugh out loud at all those folks who predicted our marriage would never last. 

I wrote the following poem after forty years. It's included in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On


Forty Years (now forty-three)

He folds her in his arms
and looks down at her
with his deep blue eyes
and a small, closed-mouth smile
that shows just the hint of dimples
in his ruddy cheeks—
the way he looked
as he stood at her apartment door
on Mentone Avenue
that first night,
his hair
straw-blond, cut short,
stuck straight up,
his beige raincoat
damp from the March drizzle,
carrying a bottle of champagne
under his arm.
He remembers how
after drinking champagne
after dancing so slow they hardly moved,
after she invited him
into her bed,
they were up all night
exploring, tasting as they got to know
and feel every inch of each other,
stroking faces, necks, thighs, feet,
kissing, mouths open,
almost swallowing each other,
coupling, resting,
one on top, then the other,
spooned, joined
over and over again
until dawn and hunger
drove them out into the rain
to find a place to eat.
And though he admits nothing,
no nothing,
has ever come close
to that first night,
his memory of it
and the girl standing in the doorway,
with short dark hair,
a tight-fitting yellow dress,
black patent-leather stiletto pumps,
keep them joined together

now.

2 comments:

Sebastian Daniels said...

Congratulations Madeline! That is a big accomplishment especially with everything that you two have been through. I am guessing that it made your relationship a lot stronger.

Madeline Sharples said...

Thanks, Sebastian. Yes, you're right. Our relationship became stronger as a result of all our trials. Also because we give each other a lot of space to do our own things.