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Saturday, April 10, 2010

As if

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As if

I should have known something was up
when we told the host our name, and he instantly
gestured and led us to a table by the brick wall,
as if it belonged to us - now, always, ad infinitum,

as if we were a quiet, gray couple in Chicago
or St. Louis, who have had that standing table
for fifty years and nod to the maitre d with familiarity
every week, not just on anniversaries and birthdays.

So when I saw the exuberance of flowers and tissue paper
my husband had asked a florist to deliver - magenta and chartreuse,
bold and lusty, as if this tabletop was a declaration
of young new love, as if the bee were seducing the flower -

when I saw them, the room swam, and almost in a swoon I struggled
to take off my chartreuse coat and hang it on the back
of a chair. I said, Oh, the camera is in the car, and dutifully he left for it.
He left, and he didn't return. I waited. After 32 years,

where could he be? A siren drowned out the music, and then
one emotion was traded for another. I called him on my magenta
phone. No answer. I jumped up and ran out the door,
down the street to the parked car. Not

there. As if he, like a bee, had made his brief, purposeful visit
and left the flower, alone. Ad infinitum. I waited.
In actuality, it was no more than ten minutes. You see,
he found primroses on the sidewalk for sale.

Primroses, that I love and have not tucked into
a flower bed since three houses ago. Primroses
that were being taken inside for the night,
that would not be there after dinner. He bought four.

And as if he had died and come back to life,
when he returned to our table I was about to weep,
just when the waitress swept up to tell us
the night's specials: grouper and mahi mahi and trout,

and I told her to please go away, we needed no pretty
young women selling fish and champagne. Out of the
16,819,200 minutes we'd been together, just now we needed five
secluded on our island of love, with only the hot tropical flowers as witness.
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96 comments:

ellen abbott said...

Wow.

Kat said...

You had my heart pounding when he did not come right back and the sirens and all. Fantastic! I love it.

Barry said...

Like Kat, I was stunned when he failed to return. And caught up enough in the poem to actually be worried.

Beautifully, and movingly written.

Geeze, if only I was that romantic.

Gwei Mui said...

Amazing, I love it

CottageGirl said...

First off ... Happy, happy anniversary!

32 years! That does call for a celebration and that man of yours knows just how to do it up right. What a sweet, romantic man. Congratulations!

Wonderful writing, Ruth. Luscious picture!

maggie said...

Ah Ruth, it never gets old does it, the apprecitation of, love of romance. You got a sweety there.
Thanks for sharing.

Anet said...

Beautiful moment, one of a lifetime. Just Beautiful!

Stacie said...

Writing like this is just so stunning...you captured love in such a wonderfully unique way...all of the joy and fear and sadness wrapped up in a brief moment...beautiful!

California Girl said...

It is hard to read something this beautifully written and do it justice in any way. Like the others, I was misty, then surprised, then horrified, then relieved.

You're a devil and one hell of a writer.

Happy Anniversary!

Claudia said...

Oh wow, I'm lost for words, this is so wonderful! You convey and share your emotions so beautifully, Ruth, I feel touched and lucky when I read you!

Be one with the Fro said...

wow. amazing. love it.

have a marvelous weekend, ruth

xo

corfubob said...

Ruth, what a generous gift is this poem to us bloggers, and not deserved by this one who follows from such an inexcusable distance. See you soon, Bob

photowannabe said...

Wow, you had me holding my breath. Perfect emotion and passion oozing through your words. Happy Anniversary and may there aways be Primroses for your day.

Loring Wirbel said...

Highlight of National Poetry Month so far. Beautiful.

shicat said...

Spellbinding,loved it. Will he return and with what? Something even more thoughtful and romantic.

Truth or fiction?

Either way it works.

With smiles and love my friend,i feel the vibes, work will be groovy!

Brenda said...

W. O. W. Very cool! Happy Anniversary! We will have 33 years together in 2 months. I wish I could create something this grand....

Helena said...

I was also terribly worried in the middle of the poem. :-O Happy anniversary! :-)

PS. Posted about synchronicity. Thought it might interest you. (Freemason-post)

♥ Kathy said...

That was amazing! Happy Anniversary ♥

freefalling said...

I'm not a cry'ie kind of person,
but this makes me want to cry.
How wonderful is a beautiful heart?

Amy said...

Now that was a piece of heartfelt authentic writing - so beautiful! Loved the way you used the colors chartreuse and magenta.

My husband is getting more romantic as we get older - well, maybe not as much as your husband, but progress. Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Cheers, my dears! Here is to many more years of joy, warmth, and laughter. May you always be secure in your love.

Patricia said...

Hi Ruth,
I made the comment that was sent as anonymous.

Cheers,
Patricia

The Bug said...

Fabulous! I have to go write my Magpie Tale after this? Sigh.

Terresa said...

A savory, complex poem of love, the stuff of relationships aged with the passage of time. I can smell those hot tropical flowers...

Deborah said...

I am in tears.

Sidney said...

What a wonderful love story !

dutchbaby said...

Oh my goodness! I did not want to keep staring at your table, but you are so alluring. I felt for you during your long, long wait, I celebrated with you when he returned, and I happily granted you your privacy with your beloved. Happy anniversary, I assume.

BTW, love the righted Dutch-angle photo.

M said...

You are gracious to share this intimate moment through your gift of words. The visual image was a perfect preface to the poem, which moved me in precisely the way it did the other commenters. YOU should be publishing a book of these poems and photos. Period.

Mary
Flat Rock Creek Notebook

C.M. Jackson said...

congratulations---your poem took my breath away...a magical and beautiful celebration of your love!!

Vagabonde said...

Nice!

VaNeSsA said...

Ruth, how you love to make me cry!! Lovely.

deb said...

oh, tears.
just pierced me.

(here from Terresa ),

and oh, I am here. To stay.

gemma said...

Congratulations.
He must be someone special. Here is to 32 more! clink clink

Babs-beetle said...

There's nothing I can say that hasn't been said in the other comments, except how did you get to be so talented? You had me gripped.

Babs-beetle said...

Oops! Happy Anniversary!

Fragrant Liar said...

Oh wow. Affecting, provocative, luscious!

Happy anniversary.

P.S. Oh hey, my word verif is twokind. Serendipitous!?

ds said...

You SCARED me!!! Yes, shoo, Little Miss Waitress, for this is Love, burning too deep for you to understand. Yet.

What a painter of words you are. Thank you.

Arti said...

You're one blessed soul, Ruth. What a wonderful memento your poem makes for the special occasion... and that 5 minutes would be precious memory indeed. Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

Oh. My. God. You just slayed me with that poem. It is perfection personified. I don't think I can breathe now, because your words just sucked up all the air in the room.

Ruth said...

Hi, Ellen. Thank you for Wow.

Ruth said...

Kat, hopefully you knew that since I wrote a poem about it, all turned out fine, hehe. Thank you for your kind words.

Jeanie said...

Please tell me he gives lessons. The poem is a stunner -- so is the inspiration. This makes my heart beat faster!

Ruth said...

Barry, you might think this comes naturally to my husband, but I am guessing that he has to work at it. I guess it means even more knowing that.

Ruth said...

Gwei Mui, so much can happen in a few moments.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, it's work, isn't it? It's not all romance and flowers. We know that, anyone who has been married even a few years knows that that acknowledging different points of view and ways of communicating make relationships hard work. Sometimes there are moments like this when everything comes together, and you are reminded again how you don't want to be without this person.

Peter said...

What a wonderful writing for us all ... and I would say especially for a 32 years' partner!

lovely you said...

Oh, Ruth. You have really outdone yourself this time. I really love everything about this poem. I am inspired by you in so many ways. Congratulations on 32 years of Love. I've said it before and I'll say it again: that Don is a keeper!

Ruth said...

Maggie, I think it's easy to take it for granted, when someone is thoughtful and kind. The thought of losing that person was overwhelming.

Ruth said...

Anet, poems are snapshots, and this is a snapshot. All of them are not like this, of course. Most of the time when we're not at work we're in jammies at home. It's nice to go out and celebrate.

Pauline said...

for one awful moment I thought he'd gone - left you there with your magenta flowers but I went back and reread what I'd misread, and was so relieved to find him returned. What a splendid story!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Stacie, life is just a series of moments. Poems try to catch a moment. I'm glad you saw that in mine.

Ruth said...

California Girl, thank you so much. I'm surprised how National Poetry Month has got me going, though I've slowed down now.

Ruth said...

Claudia, that means a lot to me, thank you. What a lovely thing to say.

Ruth said...

Hi, Tiffany, it's nice to have you stop by, thank you. Coffee?

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Beautifully cast little spell, complete with mystery, tension, color, a "death" and resurrection, love of life and love of partner ... all before ordering!

Happy 32nd anniversary, Ruth. I am here via Terresa from The Chocolate Chip Waffle and am signing up for more.

Ruth said...

Hi, and welcome, Bob, to chilly and springy Michigan. You are always welcome, close or at a distance. I'm glad you opened the door and sat for a bit today. Love your Corfu dailies.

Ruth said...

Dear Sue, thank you for your response and wishes. Maybe we started a primrose tradition.

Ruth said...

Oh, thank you for that, Loring. It's been a fun poetry month.

Ruth said...

Sweet Cathy, all true. It made the celebration better. I guess that's a good lesson. We notice the good more deeply when there has been a hitch.

Ruth said...

Brenda, how great! Congratulations to you and your husband early.

You know, this just came. It was National Poetry Month, and there is some energy in the air that's aMUSEing me, because I haven't written this much poetry in a while. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Wow, Helena, your new blog page is amazing, and you've done a LOT of research! Really interesting stuff.

Thank you for your anniversary wishes!

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, I thank you for your kind words and wishes.

Ruth said...

Letty, nothing more wonderful.

I'm glad for yours.

Shari Sunday said...

My first reaction was WOW. Then, congratulations. Then, what a great husband and how lucky you both are. Not very original but I felt your moment as if I were there. Happy anniversary.

Ruth said...

Hi, Amy, it's nice to see you and your black dog.

Love is really just attention, paying attention. The day-in-day-out attention is the best, if you ask me. I think it's very sweet when men (like my husband) who aren't naturally all that romantic, make such great effort to be so. It really means a lot to me.

Ruth said...

Patricia, thank you sincerely.

Ruth said...

Ah, thank you, Dana. :)

Ruth said...

Terresa, complex is right. Over the years some things get simpler, some don't change much. We evolve, and so does how we relate. I am fascinated by human beings.

Ruth said...

Ah, Deborah, sweet you are. I was too.

Ruth said...

Sidney, we have our moments! :)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Dutchbaby. And oh! I had never heard the term Dutch-angle photo before, so thank you for that education. :)

kath said...

Lovely lovely lovely. We are only at seven years, with luck we'll reach 32, but we will be beyond ancient ... marrying "old" has some drawbacks! I loved this story.
xo

Ruth said...

Mary, THANK YOU for them kind words.

I just love your piece on jean shorts today. Still smiling . . .

Ruth said...

Hi, C.M.. Thank you. I guess the celebration times like this come because of all the ordinary days we spend together, with all the range of life circumstances.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, thanks!

Ruth said...

VaNeSsA, thank you for tears.

Ruth said...

Hello and welcome, Deb, that is so nice.

Ruth said...

Thank you for the clink, Gemma. Yes, he is special indeed.

Ruth said...

Oh, Babs, such a nice thing to say. Thank you.

I dunno, but there's been poetry energy in the air here during National Poetry Month.

Ruth said...

Well that's pretty cool, that word veri, Fragrant Liar. Thank you for your descriptive and kind words!

Ginnie said...

What a celebration, dear sister, and a paeon of praise to it! Yay, Don! :)

Bella Rum said...

Oh, my! Oh, my!

I was charmed at the flowers and tissue paper. By the time the primroses came along, I gasped out loud and melted.

I'm so happy for you.
32 years. How wonderful.
Bella

Ruth said...

DS, poor waitress, how was she to know? I felt like slapping her, because she couldn't read my emotions on my face. But hey, we were eating in a public place, trying to work on private emotions. Complex, problematic, annoying!

Ruth said...

Arti, I wonder if I would have remembered it as well if I hadn't written this. It made me spend more time in the experience, and solidified it in my mind.

Ruth said...

You are sweet, Susie, I'm glad you felt that way. Bless you.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, I think spouses give spouses lessons, hehe. Don teaches me, I teach him. Thank you so much for your good words.

Ruth said...

Merci, Peter.

Ruth said...

Lovely, yep. You and Jason are lucky too, both of you are keepers.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Pauline, for your determination to find out that all was well.

Ruth said...

Hi there, and welcome, Lorenzo, you've been very kind on your first visit.

Gotta love Terresa! Thank you for the anniversary greeting too.

Ruth said...

Thank you for your sweet words, Shari.

Ruth said...

Oh thank you, Kath, I wish you strong, steady moments, and courage, and joy.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Boots! You know he's a keeper. :)

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Bella. It was such a brief thing, it was intense, it was brutal for just a bit, then it passed.

Pat said...

Sigh. So beautiful. So romantic. So, so MOVING. I loved it!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Pat!