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May 16, 2012


We had this read at our wedding. I'm not sure what that means, but we've been married 30 years this September.

Okay. A very rough down-and-dirty draft in response to your challenge, David. Ciardi's is a poem I have loved for many many years!

Wives Marry Who They Be (by Jenny Factor)

I marry you like claws, because, and folly
I marry for the reason that a wind
hovers and does not hover near a door

sweeping the silk and honeysuckle in
Marriage is the eleventh inning rally
the old gumshoe. The peanuts on the floor.

I love you from the mound and from the alley
and from the narrow place we kneel before
when too much wanting turned me selfish, in-

ward and sinning, a smarting in the galley.
Years and days and mornings, but better!
Every 1:14 in the afternoon--

we are in our offices, alone, no ally
and it's just five hours till dinner with you--that whiff of June
I marry you today, tomorrow, and for

the day I wake up and feel flat, feel no
as a buttress against lack and lolly
I marry you from the depth of my alone

and so here we are, our love, a tether
that stretches through unknowing, unseeming, and unbe
and births that being blazed by our forever

from the smallest and narrowest places, all you, all me

Thank you for the comments, LO and Jenny, and for rising to the occasion with a new poem dashed off on the spot! I hadn't realized that Ciardi's poem was as well-known and well-loved as it appears to be. And it is obviously an inspiring effort as your lines attest. DL

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