Poetry. Who'd have ever thought I'd venture into that realm? Certainly not moi. Once again, I have to give thanks to the late Melody Richardson, Writer-in-Residence, at our two libraries, Baysville and Bracebridge, who challenged the Writers' Circles there to go beyond memoir writing into attempting some fiction and poetry. Look where venturing into fiction took me! Poetry, though, was a horse of a different colour. In the end, I wrote four poems. In a fit of bravery, I submitted two to a small contest for Northern Ontario Poets and was blown away by having both of them chosen to be published in an anthology. Twenty Years - Northern Ontario Poetry Collection 2015 by White Mountain Publications.
Here is one I wrote a year after our 50th Wedding Anniversary, when I was reflecting on the difference between the exciting family celebration of the previous year and the quiet satisfaction of the current one. We have now celebrated our 54th with the same feelings of gratefulness.
On Being Married Fifty-One Years
Fervent youth felt, KNEW,
in its straight, strong bones,
that love lasts forever.
Middle age felt, believed, HOPED,
in its spirit’s deepest core
that Love lasts forever.
Age, now present, feels, believes, KNOWS,
in its anxious heart
that Love lasts forever.
In youth, fickle Life randomly hurled its best
and its worst.
Greedy Death lunged at us and lunged yet again,
but I survived, our babies survived,
you survived. WE SURVIVED!
Survived and thrived.
We took Life’s worst and overcame.
We took Life’s best and were grateful.
Bright-eyed youth blithely assumes
vast stretches of space, time, and love.
Cloudy-eyed age spies the end of the journey
much too clearly and too near.
Once, mornings brought still-sleepy children
bustled off to school,
preoccupied parents to “important” pursuits.
Now, mornings bring my cup of tea,
served with a kiss, as meaningful as ever
and always, always, a bright, loving word
arrow-straight from your lips to my heart.
Days, lightening-paced or turtle-paced,
still elicit thoughtful gestures,
caring and constancy,
and succumb to velvet nights
of good-night hugs and tender declarations.
Selfish lovers wish to be the first to die.
I am selfish! I am selfish!
Yet, perhaps selfless, too.
For if I could, I would spare you
the too silent mornings,
the purposeless days,
the wakeful nights of longing for that soul
once, and still, the centre
of your loving universe.
For today, I am grateful
for the love in that cup of tea,
for the heady certainty
of being so cherished,
for finding you on my path
so early in this journey,
for every breath you take.
And I KNOW, I KNOW that Love lasts forever.
Wendy Truscott, written June, 2013 copyrighted