A Rather (Extra)Ordinary 17th Anniversary


You spent a sliver of our 17th wedding
anniversary piecing together grilled cheese
sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch while I
changed diapers. The butter sizzled on the griddle.
Dinner! I shout, and then came the
stampede, the sound of bare feet on wood
floors, not unlike the sound of new rain
on windows. There is a quiet joy in watching
your children eat when they are hungry, even
when the soup
drips onto the floor.

Earlier in the day your mother took
the oldest five to see a movie while you and I
sat in the living room reading books, each our
own, and watching Poppy smile in her dreamy
sleep. I stole glances at you
and remembered, for a moment,
the people we had been 17 years before.

They are strange to me, and very young. I may
have seen them in the city
just the other day. The girl is
quiet and nervous, like a small bird
trying not to stir
in the undergrowth. The boy is confident and
somewhat careless, crashing through
the brush with no concern
for what might be there: a once-every-17-year
flower, or
a small bird.

But, there we were, our current selves,
reading, while our sixth
baby slept, and the traffic went by on James Street,
and the heat gathered in clouds on the
window panes. I dozed off. When I woke again
you were sleeping, Poppy resting
on your chest, her breathing mingled
with yours, her rise and fall on top of your
rise and fall, Sunday moving
through all of us like the first breath.

Later, the children running
charging shouting their way from here
there, and
Billy Joel came on, the kitchen oddly
except for me
and you

She’s got a smile that heals me
I don’t know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me

And we slow-danced on the cool kitchen tile,
a thunderstorm darkening the alley outside,
the sound of new rain pinging
on the windows. You seemed very happy
there in that small circle, that small revolution,
as if we had found something forgotten
or maybe only

9 Replies to “A Rather (Extra)Ordinary 17th Anniversary”

  1. Amazing! Thank you for sharing a smidgen of your anniversary with us. May you truly be blessed. I really enjoyed your writing. thanks again.

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