On the Occasion of What Would Have Been Our Tenth Wedding Anniversary
Updated: May 26, 2021
You were seven years old the day we met
We watched a king crowned as he glared at me, the intruder
But I didn’t notice
You were eight years old the day I moved in
He’d handed me a key, though I was with another
Weeks later we kissed on the steps near my apartment.
The next night after Mexican food and long walks I stayed over
and never left.
You were nine years old the morning he broke the bedroom ceiling light
He was out of coffee. The dresser drawer came out so easily it seemed to fly.
Glass fell on me, in the bed
I cleaned it up
You were ten years old the day we wed
My gown shimmered with crystals as he looked at me with so much love
Ruby Red Slippers on my feet. We danced from such great heights.
I thought I would never love another
You were ten years old the day we decided to try
Excitement and joy and hope
Disappointment and fear and loss
5 angels then perfection
You were eleven years old the day we bought our home
I planted lemongrass, rosemary, and two red rosebushes
He mowed the lawn once. We had a picket fence.
I loved that lemon tree and its strange fruits
You were twelve years old the day Casey came to stay
Wiggling his way into my heart
Even though he was never really my dog
You were fourteen years old the night he overturned the couch on me.
I was angry and did not want to sleep in our bed.
I smashed into the wall and slid to the floor
The couch covered me like a tiny cave
You were fifteen years old the day we brought our son home
Our family, overjoyed. Everyone held the baby.
So bittersweet without his mother.
You were fifteen years old the day he left me the first time
“She’s a great mother,” he’d said. “She is magic.”
“You are unfuckablely unattractive. And stupid.”
You were seventeen years old the day he came back.
“I want my family together,” he’d said. We walked after the concert
I felt joy. I wanted that, too
You were nineteen years old the day I bought a house for my family
I showed him wedding pictures. He chose and I had them framed
I asked him many, many times to put them up
He never did
You were nineteen years old the night you looked me, insulted
“I will never sleep with your husband,” you’d said
Indignant tears in your eyes at my request for the truth
You were nineteen years old the day he sat across from me as I cried
“you will never know how much I love you,” he’d said
and “yes, we can renew our vows on our tenth anniversary next year.”
You were still nineteen years old later that same month
when he took you in his arms for the first time
In the house I’d purchased for my family
Your second lover
You were twenty years old the day he moved out
And into a new space with you
I wondered what it was like for you to have a man of forty-seven years
Losing his hair
Grunting over your beauty.
You are twenty years old today.
On this, the occasion of what would have been our tenth wedding anniversary.