Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 78


by Tony Hoagland

She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,

windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.

She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.


There are so many reasons we love each other, and often we fall in love because of the crazy and strange things our beloveds do. The gap in his smile, his love of history, he only wears clothes that previously belonged to old dead men, he brings me flowers picked from the median, he plays monster until at least one if not all of the children have wet their pants.... not talking about my husband at all. This is all conjecture as to why you might fall in love with a man.

I don't agree with the poet that "nobody believes till death do us part", because I have experienced, from the outside looking in, many loves that have lasted until death do us part.
My marriage is bolstered by the marriages around me that are expected to last until the end. Because of, and in spite of, all the annoying little quirks each spouse brings to the relationship. So be glad your spouse loves you for your quirks and love them back. Even for the things that make you roll your eyes and sigh in frustration. Especially for those things.


On a another note - today we said goodbye to Mike's Great Aunt Jackie. She was a funny, colorful and sweet lady. At our wedding shower, Aunt Jackie gave Mike - not me, Mike - a cookbook. A cookbook with the inscription alluding to how it is a good book, and now he can practice cooking for his wife! A sense of humor, she had one.

The last time we saw Aunt Jackie was at a family get together, where immediately upon reacquainting herself with Mikey, she pulled him onto her lap and there he remained for the rest of the evening. They giggled and ate and he managed to get some guffaws out of her.

Jackie lived with her daughter and son-in-law until the end. They took care of her, and while they miss her, are glad to know she has gained her laughter back now. We all loved her for her wit and for her quirks. Especially her quirks.


Michelle said...

I love wind chimes. I had some for quite awhile, until they rotted away. I'm not sure my neighbors enjoyed them as much as I did.

Loved your pictures from this week! My camera battery died, and I ran all over the house trying to find the charger. Took me three days, but I remembered it was in my travel bag from Christmas. Whew!

Enjoy this 'foine' day!

ps Quirks are wonderful - as long as you can keep laughing at them and enjoying them. Sometimes we (mostly meaning me) get too serious and allow them to annoy us. Great reminder to enjoy them! Thanks.

Beth said...

I love wind chimes too. Have some outside right now. Something about hearing them makes me intrinsically happy.

I love this poem and I love that your husband wears clothes of dead men. Not everyone would appreciate that, but I do. I tend to keep little things, hankerchiefs and such around from loved ones departed. Little relics I suppose to make them more real in their physical absence.

And yes, what a true gift a "death us do part" marriage is in this world where everything is disposable. My parents will celebrate 57 years this August.

Anonymous said...


Bravo on your description of "true love"! I found it delightful, inspiring and very, very relatable. : ) The poem was a treat too!

I'm thinking of you today and praying for your family!


Beth Hanna said...

Did you say you wrote the poem, Kris?? Or was it Mike?? For all of you out there who have a spouse - enjoy!! Love every weird quirk about him/her! Laugh together, even at each other, just enjoy! Did I already say that?? And have fun together! Cause those are the memories that will stay with you!