Poetry Wednesday: Two Decades of Marriage

It’s difficult, after twenty years of marriage, to find an anniversary card that says what I want to say without inducing sugar shock or referencing stereotypical jokes that don’t apply, or blatantly propositioning my husband where my MIl might catch on.**

I need  something that encompasses knowing someone for over half your life, meeting, loving, and learning each other, and staying together anyway, through three apartments, two houses, four cities, three states, four cats, two kids.  Through colleges, careers, in-laws, weight fluctuations, annoying hobbies, lies, silence, tears, fights, hugs, backrubs, communication, dependence, independence, acceptance,  change.

That’s a tall order for a folded piece of cardboard.

It’s a tall order for a poem.

Because love isn’t what you think it is when the ring makes its big appearance and marriage is a lot more than not being alone anymore—sometimes it’s a lot less.  But not always.

It’s complicated.  Except when it’s the simplest truth in the world.

Luckily, there’s one poet who always has those nebulous paradoxical certainties covered:

love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fail

it is most mad and moonly
Imagination Sphereand less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

love is less always than to win
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive

it is most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky

—e.e. cummings

Happy anniversary, honey.

I love you, mostly, sane and sunly with a touch of mad and moonly.

Wanna go for twenty-one?


*Except for the toilet seat thing, which always seems to apply, but never sets the right tone.

**That’s for birthdays.


10 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday: Two Decades of Marriage

  1. Happy Anniversary Seems like just yesterday I attended the best wedding ever. You really captured the ups and downs of marriage. Love you both.

  2. Happy Anniversary. Your commentary on anniversary cards was right on. They are syrupy, vulgar, insensitive, and/or vacuous. I’m still looking for one like you wrote. Cummings is too difficult to understand for a literalist like me. So I am torn between trying to write my own, for which I have no talent, or buy the least offensive card I can find. I have to decide by tomorrow (Saturday), because Sunday is our 50th anniversary. Ah, the pain of indecision and the semi comfort of procrastination.

  3. S’funny, I was thinking about things that happened 20 years ago this weekend. Totally forgot this, though. Not like I was there or anything…oh, wait, I was.

    So…happy belated anniversary. I’m not at all surprised, and won’t be when you’re at forty.

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