Monday, August 1, 2011

Love Unfolds

Since the photos are still being posted, I decided to hold off for a few more days in a sentimental tidal wave of vignettes and photos on the blog. However, I will post the poem I ended up reading at the ceremony. Enough pics have come in so I can post one taken of me actually reading it. Hooray for the magic of facebook!

I wrote this in May 1998, almost two years after Jim and I met and just as we were buying the house. I remember that I was at Jim's duplex. He was working in his garden, and I was on the porch writing. I don't remember laboring over the piece especially. It was one of those that just 'came'. This version is actually a 'remixed version'. As noted in the prior post I felt it worked better than 'Voyager' but the original version seemed not exactly a fit for the ceremony. So I added some extra lines to bring it into line with the event.

Usually, I think this would bother me, but the idea of the poem seems to almost demand that it be re-written or added to as time goes by. I read this after the exchange of the vows and right before the big smooch to seal the deal.

Love Unfolds

I first felt love
as a child
when I planted
an acorn
in my parent’s yard,
carefully patted the earth,
watered it
with a jeweler’s precision,
only to forget it
the next day

Love changed with me
like the day
I saw a man
in the mirror
not a boy
or the day
I discovered who I am
and had the courage
to embrace it

Just as the sound of a breeze
in the leaves
sounds like
the sea upon the beach
sounds like
a spring shower,
love took many forms

But in all these years
I’ve never been able to name it—
anymore than I know the color
of sunbeams scattering
off a garden pond
or can name the day
spring unfolds each year
or map the direction of the road
that’s brought me to where I stand
in this moment

But there are moments of clarity
like now
as I stand with my soul mate
and I think about
the oak I planted as a child
in my parent’s yard,
its branches are arching up now
over above the house,
its trunk is strong
its roots are deep
its alive with birds and nests
squirrels and dragonflies,
and breezes that part the leaves
to reveal acorns
peeking through –
a hundred promises
waiting to be planted.

- Peter Cholewinski

I'm glad I chose the reworked version. It felt perfect in the moment!

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