We spoke for 62 minutes today.
We spoke while I cruised through a McDonald’s Drive-thru.
We spoke as I checked the tire pressure on my car
And complained about the sensor light coming on again.
We spoke as I ate, long pauses as I chewed.
We spoke as I perused the news.
In 62 minutes today we had to condense 24 hours of our marriage.
It was not enough.
To be intimate.
To describe our day.
To explain what needs to be done.
To discuss our child.
To exalt over her achievements.
It can never be enough.
In 62 minutes every day for the past 300 days.
How do we stay in touch?
And thousands of texts that simply say
I love you
Wait for me.
We’ve been here before.
We have left the realm of the unknown.
This is day to day,
This is your job,
This is the commitment I understood.
We are so close,
I know where we go from here.
I know how to feel from here.
We have lived in this span of space
have reached across this arc of time
and found each other again on the other side.
Baby, we were fire
Engulfed in each other’s sight
The tendrils of your flame
Set my soul alight.
Brittle, broken tinder
Littered my insides
A spark from you, a cinder,
caused me to ignite.
The friction building in whispers
In the velvet of deep twilight
Erupted, spewing embers,
Molten lava, melting frigid night.
Did you feel the burning?
Did it scald and scar your skin?
Can you see the marks of yearning,
the brands you left behind?
Baby, we were an inferno,
enveloping and blinding.
How did we survive it?
Poseidon in his watery prison has loved Selene from afar, turning his tides to draw her gaze upon him.
And Selene hung upon the velvet canvas of night unable to sink into the salty waves from her lofty height blinks slowly with regret, filling her vision with the peaked foam depths.
I love you like the ocean loves the moon, the sight of her in the night sky roiling the ocean into tidal frenzies.
I love you with the eternal pattern of nature, unwavering and confident in the reassurance of return.
I love you with the eternal intent of gods and the immortal imperviousness of our souls.
I love you as I have always and will always love you, in lives since passed and lives to come, and in that space of afterlife, our Heaven ensnared in each other’s eyes.
And long before the goddess took up residence beside the empty cratered lake to stand guard over far off blue green seas and long after those seas have ebbed eternally too heavy and ancient with geological burden I have, I will, love you.
Slats of sunlight dapple
the edges of my memories
twirling in the kitchen
laying sideways in our bed
blinding our view of the television
where we curled up each evening
the warming Spring days meant open
strolls across the railroad tracks
during lengthening evening twilight
holding hands, our breaths
as we wait for separation
a year long pacing back and forth
slowly becoming numb
with every creeping day.
How could we have known when we shared shy glances all those years ago that we would build this life together? You were dressed in your uniform on a swelteringly humid and damp day patrolling the tents at the county fair. I wore a strappy long dress with bright colors and my hair was wild with the static and moisture of the September heat and playing hooky from my part-time cashier job that I held between my undergrad and grad years, in town for a much needed break from the monotony of retail.
I don’t think either of us was looking for love that day. Our hometown was probably the last place we expected to find it anyway. We had both had our first loves and broken hearts. We were in relationship limbo. Seeing you tripped me up. We broke all the rules from that moment on.
From a movie date that wasn’t a date, to hazy tequila flavored kisses, and a sunset on a mountaintop, our love story blossomed as quickly and as beautifully as Easter flowers. I was told to expect it to end, that relationships like ours were doomed to fizzle out. That the shiny would tarnish and the world would tint black again. But 3 1/2 years later and I fall in love with you more and more everyday. I don’t know how my heart creates room for our love to grow but by and by new seeds are sown and the garden of our devotion bears new buds each and every time I visit it.
We have found Paradise in each other’s soul.
A Soldier’s Wife
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and you never left my mind. But to be fair it is a rare day when I can manage to distract myself enough not to think about you, to remember you, to miss you, to dream of the day you come home and our life together resumes. Your words were so beautiful, more beautiful than a hundred roses. I nearly cried reading them while I sat at the circulation desk, pretending that my life was as normal as anyone else’s.
I have these moments between the drudgery of the incessant passing of time, moments of clarity where I realize that we are going through something major and life changing and neither one of us can come out on the other side the same. I know what you are doing is important and you are providing for your family the best way you have found. I can never thank you enough for being so brave, so dependable, so very, very good to me and Baby. It is unfortunately a rare man who would make such sacrifices to care for loved ones.
I believe our children will be better people for us having gone through this. We can teach them sacrifice, love in truth, what it means to cherish and appreciate what we have, to embrace moments while they are in them. I will never take for granted the small moments we share together ever again.
The days are passing. I am assured of that at least. Some faster than I thought they would. I have settled into my routine though Baby likes to switch that up from time to time. We get through, I didn’t think I could honestly, but I have found a way to care for her and myself (most days). I’m not saying the dishes get washed every evening or the tub gets scrubbed as clean as you like but we live almost as decently as before you left. There is still laughter in our home, your daughter makes sure of that. She brings me the greatest joy and I adore you for agreeing that we shouldn’t wait to start our family until you came home. She creates my inner strength and motivates me to push when I want to crash.
I tell you this because I think it is important you know we are okay even with you thousands of miles away. If something were to ever happen to you for you to know we are capable. I will care for your daughter no matter what and give her the very best life but we still desperately await your return home to complete our family.
Until then the days count down, the clock unwinds, I sigh a breath of relief because each day without you is one more day done, gone, in our past, and one day closer to the thousands upon thousands we will spend together.
I love you. Infidimensionally. Until tomorrow, my love.
A Soldier’s Wife