When I was in high school, I took a creative writing class. One day, we were instructed to write a poem about love, but we could not use any “love” words. Going outside, I thought of snippets of my own childhood. I thought about how I wanted to have love that was real. I harbored no illusions. I didn’t want a “handsome prince” or a “knight in shining armor.” I didn’t want to rest all my hopes in someone. I wanted an equal. I wanted a partner. So I wrote the poem below. When Todd and I were engaged, I printed the poem and framed it. Initially, Todd didn’t really like the poem, because he didn’t think it applied to us.
Little did he know.
This poem is more real to me now than it has ever been. I’m a little shocked that I wrote it at 16… TEN YEARS AGO.
Had I known what lay ahead when Todd proposed to me nearly 5 years ago, I still would have said yes. In all truth, I love Todd more now than I did back then. We’ve both made huge steps to getting off our high horse (it was a little uncomfortable being up that high) and we have finally demolished so many of our own preconceived notions. He’s my “knight in rusty armor” and I love every blemish.
Todd, I love you. Thanks for putting up with me.
of child-enriched glee
by blades of grass and bare toes
the pitter patter of little feet
flip-flopping around on linoleum
smells of burned meatloaf
and pots and pans clinging
candles of differed array
a beam of sparking light
coming from each flame
a broken recliner from the second hand store
worn rugs, colored of mud and mustard
determined to be replaced
getting lost on an unmarked road
a shortcut you were determined to take
in a car that is too old to drive
carpools and Sunday School
dirty laundry and scummy bathtubs
that is how I want to spend
the rest of my life with you.