February 14, 2007|
Happy Anniversary, Dear
by Kathe Campbell
I gaze antiquated photos, easily recalling us, crazy in love,
As usual, it snows today, our 55th Valentine-Anniversary.
No schmaltzy cards, posies, dinners, I'll pretend this year,
We were such a together pair.
Working, doing, going, living well, raising fine offspring,
Wildly happy, then heavy-hearted times, aging, sickness.
Miserable weeks, hope, pent-up anguish, trying so hard,
Your way back to health was not to be.
You told me a thousand times I was your best medicine,
I feigned hope, cheer, blithe spirit, stiff upper lip, no tears,
And when you asked to die rather than languish in misery,
I gave you permission, as did our children.
Recalling your voice, touch, special times leaving me low,
Climbing my way out, melancholy, releasing a trillion tears.
I pray each day, talk to our Lord, thank Him for His gifts,
I read the Psalms - they cover me well.
Contentment now on this beautiful place, I pen our memoirs,
Pore over albums, travel memory's trails - lest homesickness.
Loving, splendid, happily married children, looking after me,
Neighbors, a slew of grands, even greats.
Old pals in the obits often, dare I say I'm not ready quite yet?
Trying hard not to take myself too seriously, no one else does.
I'm selfish, coming, going, doing, living in my own little world,
But that's okay, they know me here.
I dawdle around in matching sweats, diamonds grace my hand,
An old sorority cap, even a hard hat, over wisps of fading red.
Slogging along, boy's wides, toes turned up, down, not hurting,
Damn rheumatoid, painful fingers drifting.
Pocketing my cell, driving the ATV, Bobcat, checking fence,
Plow snow, clean barn, bird watch, photograph wildflowers.
Spend my social security, crazy sounding wine, cappuccinos,
Canine jerky, candles, donkey carrots.
Folks come calling, we sip sangria, watch geese swim, mate,
We adore newest ducklings, so beloved of yesterday, today.
"Your lives have been so full, adventurous, tell us more."
So I do 'til dusk, they smile, listen in awe.
Sporting shimmering sweat like jewels, keeping it all moving,
Feeding in boxer shorts, T's, our cowboy jackets, old boots.
A wild sight, happy talking our dog, neighbor boys chuckling,
Lifting the heavy, spoiling me with sweets.
Old pals on our decks, barefoot banter, bull, kissing the rains,
Scents, sounds, elk, musky deer, we're hooting, owls hooting.
Our lodge shines, wine glasses gleam, Coronas cold, Cuevera,
Blessings de rigueur, our best filets, sleep.
Warm liquid eyes, waggling tails, await dawns for my footfall,
Yipping, whining, turning circles, greeting me, as if I was God.
Love-light shining, hoping I'll stay, stroking sweet, soft heads,
Purrs whisper all is well, we're content.
Chill of March, your blessed angels surround me, stay, comfort,
Sleepless, fretting, victorious, divine keepers of our ranch flame.
She's on her feet, spring comes with flurries, I feel like whistling,
With another boot-full of snow.
I gaze beyond white billows on high, tell our son I talk to you,
He laughs aloud, cuts a new post, repairs broken wire, a gate.
Another great-grandbaby, jennet doing well, new bird houses,
Our mountain smelling sweet, just things.
Flakes fall in the still, summer was awesome, we're ready again,
You tell me to stay, happiness is my voyage, not my destination.
I keep your words well, the farrier, hay, oil, vehicles, play toys,
Batteries, plow, irrigations, fences, varmints.
I see in the mirror that I am getting old, I enjoy being eccentric,
Wrinkles tell it all, what a life, talking to myself, all living things.
Moose, deer, waterfowl, squirrels, birds, their offspring, nature,
I'll bloom in the spring, not quite as dazzling.
So Happy Anniversary, Dear, thank you for our incredible life,
I've tossed out all the ugly, keeping the useful, beautiful, joyful.
Tears befall me, missing you something fierce, giving time time,
I shall be in charge of my own happiness.