A wife reflects on the history and evolution of her tender relationship with her husband.
i am your wife.
i am sweet smile at the party when we met.
i am exchanging phone numbers in the crowd.
i am listening to first message when you called the day after.
i am idle chatter before asking me to meet you.
i am timed giggles and clever comebacks on the phone.
i am counting down to lunch date – in ten minutes.
i am bold conversation over Chinese take-out.
i am reassurance that i’m single.
i am compassionate listener, noticing you’re not eating.
i am tentative to tell you truths you’re not ready for.
i am sobbing with ache in your car.
i am stuttered expressions of love.
i am fire with resentment.
i am not answering your calls.
i am exasperation to pursue this.
i am phone calls for $20.
i am revelation of your situations.
i am help without questions.
i am ensuring your appetite.
i am focus on keeping you comfortable.
i am rearranging my days to be with you.
i am observing your progress.
i am happy for accomplishments.
i am stepping aside to let you step up.
i am nervous about two carats.
i am ten cities apart from you.
i am holding down our fort.
i am war with illness.
i am stubborn to be defeated.
i am hoping you keep your doubts to yourself.
i am late night waiting.
i am three-day breaks, understanding.
i am groundless, sporadic debate.
and in all time, i am
that now my smile is sweet because
i am your wife.
Is it passing your belief that God led me to cross the ocean at such a young age, to expose me to the love and art of sound that you know so well?
Was it only the angel’s clumsy coincidence that I swim through turbulence, only to immerse in books and stories that equal my conversation with you now?
Even recently, do you overlook the orchestrating of the Great Conductor, who removed things that served as my distraction, only so I could focus on our own wandering thoughts?
Have I come so far, to be devoured for one weekend and be delayed in time?
Would I wait, Beloved, until your work produces enough satisfactory paperwork for you to file? Would you wait, Beloved, until I am equipped to make the same drive you do?
All the while, are we busying ourselves with sensibility, and sacrificing the life that is “ours?”
How much longer do we have?
How many points do we each need to earn?
How much of each other’s cares must we take seriously, before we act?
Have I already made the promise and not told you?
Am I so foolish or faithful to do so?
What is Honor to me, Beloved? Or status? Or title?
Haven’t I grown beyond that?
Haven’t I grown to fill it?
What are presents and rings, flowers and chocolates, that show me my importance?
Would it be knowing you breathe deeply in the night and your knowing that I wake slowly in the morning?
What have I to study but righteousness?
What have I to sing but patience?
What have I to plant but devotion?
What have I to write but love?
What have I to listen to but your promise?
You choose how to honor me.
[Originally written 7, September 2009]