I do

Do you remember
how it stormed
on that long-ago morning
and your mother cried
because it was raining
on your wedding day?

I do.

Do you remember
that the ceremony
was over
in ten minutes
(my aunt looked at her watch)?

I do.

Do you remember
how hot it was during
the eternal photographing
(especially having to wear
a black tux with tails
in August)
and how much you hated
that part?

I do.

Do you remember
my going-away outfit
that my mother made
from sky-blue cotton
and how I wore
a big straw hat
with a big white bow
and that just before
we said our good-byes
she took off
her double-strand
pearlescent beads
and put them
around my neck?

I do.

Do you remember
as we drove away
from family and home
and childhood
toward all our new tomorrows
that the rain had stopped
and the sun had come out
and the clouds pillared
up from the horizon before us
like backlit rosettes
on wedding cake
and you said it was
all in celebration of
our just being married?

I do.

I remember it all
nearly four decades
two sons and
two granddaughters
later.
Even the clouds
in their radiant array
seem to remember
today.
While marriage
is sometimes
more blister
than bliss
I can tell you this:
I lift my eyes
to the eternal skies
with a heart
full of wonder
and gratitude
that ours has grown
deeper and richer
each day
since we vowed
I do.

The cover of our wedding album:
“God has created your spirits with wings to fly in the spacious firmament of Love and Freedom.”
—Kahlil Gibran

Excerpt from our wedding album, in a space commemorating the first anniversary.
I wrote, at age twenty-one: “We can’t believe it’s been a year since we’ve been married, but it’s been a happy one and a good one and God has indeed blessed us well – may He bless us for many years to come and let our marriage grow deeper and richer each day.”

—God has.

4 thoughts on “I do

  1. Utterly beautiful, Fran. And the photo. My gown had that type of neckline but was in 1970 so a different style perhaps. Oh and those words you used. Pillared clouds, backlit rosettes which I can picture, and the double strand of pearls/beads gifted to you by your mom. So heartfelt. I think I finally finally have time for poetry. Happy Anniversary to you and your husband. This poem is a gift as are you.

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    • Thank you, Janet – my mother and I bought the wedding gown off a clearance rack for $130 and the cap veil for $50 – both were damaged and my mother, a seamstress who altered wedding gowns at a department store, repaired them. Thinking about writing more on this and other details. Always grateful for your thoughts.

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  2. Happy Anniversary! You and I share this gift of a long marriage. I am so grateful for it. I love the structure of your poem and the memories it captures. I do.

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    • Thank you for the anniversary wishes and the words about the poem. It kind of just happened as I was remembering our wedding day. Before we were married, I told my husband I wanted a marriage like my grandparents’- they were married 63 years. I learned it’s not always perfect, that it’s often hard work…but when I reread all the wedding cards, now yellowing and fading with age, I noted how my grandmother in particular mentioned “trust”. It’s the glue between love and commitment. I look at my children and granddaughters and count it all joy, every day.

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