we were never going to be old


Today is my husband John‘s 70th birthday. When we met in 1979, we knew we wanted to spend our lives together. And we have. We’ve done what we hoped to: built a house, planted trees, written books, loved 3 children to adulthood, and now have the pleasure of our grandchildren. There have been dark times, of course, and I suspect there will be more. But this morning, by the woodstove, watching my beloved open gifts—Jorie Graham’s new collection, Fast; a beautiful scarf; a couple of bottles of special red wine; condiments and implements from Ottawa; Colm Toibin’s study of Elizabeth Bishop; tickets to the Vancouver Symphony—I saw the young man who captured my heart when I heard him read poems at Open Space in Victoria with bill bissett. Did he read from Love’s Confidence that evening? I can’t remember. But opening it now, I read the last poem, and hope for decades yet, that opening for the moon.


Taken out
of myself
the words are

a special green
of leaves beneath
the streetlamp.

I want to go on.
I want the poem
it could be

the opening the clouds
make for the moon.

4 thoughts on “we were never going to be old”

  1. A beautiful poem and a stunning couple. Happy Birthday to John, and bravo to you both for a life well-lived – good writing, great love, a family launched, trees, bears, elk, coyotes – you have it all.

    1. Thanks, Beth. (That couple has aged of course. Maybe like wine or cheese? Or maybe like leather?) I know you and I have said so many times that we are very lucky women. The clicking you hear is me, counting my blessings.

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