Poetry

Marriage Poems

I.

I met my wife

travelling in Kathmandu

and we travelled together

many months

reaching Canada

where we stopped travelling

but stayed in the travellers’ lifestyle.

Even after raising three kids

we are in travellers’ mode

bumbling around

in cafés and thrift shops

in the neighbourhood

going nowhere.

II.

My wife says,

you are

in front of your desk

all the time

from morning till night

day after day

year after year

it’s obviously an old habit.

I think

we should do something

more dynamic

than that

before it’s too late.

III.

Emphasize the positive,

neglect the negative.

Such a simple

way to survive

is incomprehensible to my wife

who insists

on facing life

head on

with all her emotions.

She complains,

“Life is hard for me.

People all around

are turning into robots.”

I’m jealous of her rich emotional life.

IV.

Loudly

she came careering up

the driveway

lurched the truck to a stop

leapt out in pink

pants and a purple shirt

black handbag in her right hand

left arm slicing the air

she blasted through the gate

and burst into the house

shouting, “I’m back!”

V.

In her dream

my wife said

I abandoned her

in the middle of a strange city

forcing her

out of our car.

She had

a hell of a time

trying to get home.

I should apologize

somehow.

VI.

On the way back

from a party,

I was suffering

excruciating stomach pains.

My wife,

drunk,

was telling me

how much

she loves me

how much

she feels bad

for me.

I thought

I was dying.

Then she said,

“Capricorn men always have stomach problems.

Do you know why?”

I replied,

“We don’t say what we want to say.”

“What do you want to say now?”

“Shut up!”

But she didn’t shut up

and kept talking

and giggling.

I still thought

I was dying.

VII.

I say “We,”

meaning my wife and I.

She also says,

“We,” meaning

her and me.

Sometimes

they are significantly different.

“We” could be happy

and unhappy

at the same time.

I shouldn’t worry about it too much.

Until she stops saying, “We.”

VIII.

A young woman asked me,

“What is the secret of a long marriage?”

I replied,

“If both fall out of love at the same time,

that will be the end of it.

But if one of you is still in love,

It might go on.”

She said,

“That sucks!”

So I added,

“But things always change.”

A week later

I saw her with her new dog.

She looked somewhat happier.

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