Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Poem for Shelby's Wedding III: Marriage

Although I fill my life with poetry everyday, I think it's something we especially turn to at times of celebration and times of need.  My best friend, Shelby, is getting married this Friday, and because I love her as much as I love poetry, I've decided to spend this week posting poems that I hope will help prepare her for her wedding and for married life afterward.  This third poem, "Marriage," by Lawrence Raab, reminds me that the tiniest moments can change the course of our lives.  I know that shortly after Mike proposed, Shelby started to worry about what changes her life would make after they married, and I think the last four stanzas of this poem perfectly capture those anxieties, and also the deep joy and calm that she's feeling about their marriage now.

 
Marriage (Lawrence Raab)

Years later they find themselves talking   
about chances, moments when their lives   
might have swerved off
for the smallest reason.
                                     What if
I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning?   
What if you’d been out,
as you were when I tried three times   
the night before?
                           Then she tells him a secret.   
She’d been there all evening, and she knew   
he was the one calling, which was why   
she hadn’t answered.
                               Because she felt—
because she was certain—her life would change   
if she picked up the phone, said hello,   
said, I was just thinking
of you.
            I was afraid,
she tells him. And in the morning   
I also knew it was you, but I just   
answered the phone
                            the way anyone
answers a phone when it starts to ring,   
not thinking you have a choice.
 

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