Friday, February 03, 2023

Poetry Friday: "Thirty-nine Years" (wishing Atticus a happy anniversary and writing poetry again)

Last week, Atticus and I celebrated our 39th anniversary. 
(Umm, we're as shocked as you are. 
How can two people who are so incredibly young and vibrant 
have been married for thirty-nine years? It's a mystery, I know.) 

Happy anniversary, Atticus. 

Thirty-nine Years
by Karen Edmisten 

He was my first husband.
He is my now-husband,
my last husband, my only husband,
(in case you’re counting.) 

I'm counting.
Thirty-nine years and counting.
Not counting as in,
“I can’t wait for this to be over,”
but counting as in, 
I didn’t know I could count this high
in the category “Years married.”

I’m astonished and delighted by us.
We should win something on Jeopardy: 
“Alex, what is, Tom and Karen defied the odds and lasted?
(Now we have been married so long 
that Alex is gone.)

We married young and discovered 
what it means to weld one’s self to another.
It’s a tricky process, this welding. 
Rife with flame and light and danger
but with a distant goal in sight: 
a finished form, something sturdy and strong, 
a thing to behold. 

We have loved each other, hurt each other, 
lost each other, and found each other. 
We have died and risen again. 
We are each a Phoenix 
who learned to rise from ashes, 
discovering — this man and I —
that ashes are the stuff of life
and that new beginnings
can be shining, iridescent things,
unexpected fuel that will carry us 
on another orbit around the earth. 

Life never stops beginning.
Oh, yes, surely, it’s ending 
every moment it’s beginning 
and it’s beginning 
with each ending.
This is the beauty of the Phoenix, yes?
It keeps rising, flaming, 
swirling, changing, starting again.
It is immortal, like our marriage,
this thing that began as
an amateur piece of welding. 

We are a fusion that is somehow now 
aged and lovely in its flaws, 
sturdy as steel 
and gleaming like precious metal that is 
well-worn and well-loved.


The lovely and delightful Laura Shovan is hosting the round-up this week


jama said...

Aw, Happy Anniversary Karen and Atticus!!! Fine poem. And yes, it is shocking that you two could be married 39 years!! Obviously you were just children at the wedding. :)

Tabatha said...

I love your metaphors, Karen. Happy Anniversary!!

penelope said...

💖Happy Anniversary❣️

Honestly, I have no idea how time can feel so different, looking ahead, compared to looking back. The one direction seems like endless sweeping plains, while looking back seems like three or four steps at the most, but each one spanned mountains ...

Wishing you many many more years of counting to come❣️

Linda Mitchell said...

Oh, my absolutely stunning. Such a deeply personal poem. And yet, I feel like I understand it perfectly. Happy Anniversary, Karen!

laurasalas said...

Wow. Happy anniversary! And...

that ashes are the stuff of life
and that new beginnings
can be shining, iridescent things,

Yes! And the idea that life never stops beginning. There is so much wonder and joy in this poem, Karen. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Patricia Franz said...

To "weld oneself to another" - the only way something could possible last 39 years is to forge it with heat and muscle. Congratulations!

Marcie Flinchum Atkins said...

39 years! Congratulations!!! I love that idea of welding oneself to another. Wow!

Linda B said...

Like your marriage, Karen and Atticus, this poem, too, is precious. I love "and gleaming like precious metal that is /well-worn and well-loved." May it always be so. Happy Anniversary!

Ruth said...

So beautiful! Happy anniversary!

Kay said...

Happy anniversary! And with a beautiful love poem to celebrate

Robyn Hood Black said...

Happy Anniversary! And I'll come back and revisit and share with my hubby in a few months, when we celebrate OUR 39th anniversary, too! Beautiful poem. {hugs!}

Anonymous said...

This made me cry. What is it like to find each other again? This gives me a little hope that it's possible.