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
and 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
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.