Anniversary Poem


Anniversary Poem

“Hoy cumple amor en mis ardientes venas
veinte y dos años, Lisi, y no parece
que pasa día por el.”

Francisco de Quevedo

“For twenty-two years my captive heart has burned.”
Christ, what crap that is. The only heart burn
I have known came from your cooking: African
Nut Pie, as detailed in the cookbook I bought you
for Christmas on our first wedding anniversary,

remember? And do you remember the ride to Kincardine
on the train? A dozen coaches left Toronto and one
by one they were shunted away until only you and I and an
elderly man ploughed through the snowstorm in the one
remaining carriage. Deeper and deeper piled the snow.

You looked through the window and started to weep:
“What have I done?” you cried in shock and grief. Outside:
Ontario lake-effect snow. Headlights from two waiting
cars lit up the station. We drove to the homes of people
you didn’t know, third generation cousins of mine.

You’re the only bride I know who was carried to church
in the arms of the total stranger giving her away
in place of the father she never knew. The snow lay six
foot deep (eighteen inches fell on your wedding day
alone) and you, with a white wedding dress and black boots

up to your knees. Cousin Walter carried you to the altar:
how they laughed as they chanted that old song to us.
Later, when they tapped the glasses and fell silent
at the meal, I didn’t know what to do. And you, my love,
standing up, kissing me, married after six days in Canada.

15 thoughts on “Anniversary Poem

    • Thanks, Ana. Our cousins had some wonderful woodlands out back and a variety of snow mobiles. I think Clare changed her opinion of Canada very quickly. And the family were wonderful: looked after us and made us very welcome. I am so glad I have rediscovered these poems. I forgot all about them and then opened a dusty old book and there they were. Glad you liked the poem and the story! Thanks for commenting.


    • It was a really weird experience, that train trip. It’s funny looking back on it, but Clare was shell-shocked at the time. I’ll never forget the look on her face as she gazed out the window of the train and saw nothing but s.n.o.w piled on s.n.o.w. “Do you two know each other? Have you met before?” the vicar asked us in our interview. “Yes,” we replied. “We’ve known each other for years.” “That’s good,” he smiled. “I had two mail order brides in here last month.”

      Liked by 1 person

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