You and I,
Sipping slop from red solo cups
Signing songs of love and lust
Under a blanket of twinkling gas orbs.
Ablaze with thoughts of what might be tomorrow.
Our bodies curl into each other.
My desires for future days dribble outwards
Into the frigid air of an optimistic summer night.
You speak of daring dreams.
The skin on my arm becomes goose-flesh as you touch me
And the both of us silently wonder
If that was from the chill air,
Or something more profound.
Your heartbeat tangles around mine.
And as though it was of no consequence at all,
The two of us, become “we”.
Here we are,
What seems to be
Ten minutes later.
Laden down with worries that stop us from breathing easily.
The baby is shrieking for no reason but to hear itself shriek.
A pile of unpaid bills is tucked away in cupboards,
Away from busy minds.
The two year old just shit his pants
Taking no regard to the hours of toilet training we pandered to last week.
We are tired but still
An hour commute is screaming at you
To get a move on.
However, you can see the smog of panic that just set in
Somewhere above my right temple.
It leaves me teetering on the precipice
Of a breakdown.
You don’t want to come home to find me
In the bathtub bawling with a bin of Ben and Jerry’s,
We wonder if it ever gets easier.
If we will ever find our niche.
We wonder if “we” are strong enough for this.
Can we make it through?
Can we defeat the doubt that begins to creep in from the corners
When the arguments over family, money, work
Builds this wall between us?
Will it wear us down?
Will it ruin us?
Here we are,
Sullen and sad.
Looking out over sacred green fields
Holding each other close
Anxiously clinging to memories made
With loved ones now gone but not forgotten.
The rigid crackle of leaves upon stone
Reminds us that life is precious.
Life is fast.
A magpie flies overhead and I look up to you.
Your jaw is ridgid, strong.
Your eyes, like always, are soft.
Without looking at me you reach for my hand.
Hours later, after sermons have been said
And our deepest regards given,
We hold our children close.
Despite them being at the age where that sort of thing is frowned upon,
They hold us back. For that, we are always grateful.
Here we are,
Bones brittle from years spent existing well.
Our hairs have turned like autumn leaves.
Our lives caught up in photographs
Efficiently arranged in a desktop folder
Named, “The Good ‘Ol Days.”
We sip tea spiked with whisky
From bone china once meant only to be looked upon.
We laugh and cry for days sped past.
We wait for the phone to ring,
But not too eagerly
Because we still have each other’s company.
A dreadful thing that nags at our innermost thoughts,
At the inconvenient times.
As I am reading my favourite Atwood story,
While you are looking up some current event
That spiked your interest.
We try not to think about that future.
It is a lonely idea.
Instead we pluck away through memories of
Bringing up babes, career days, accomplishments
The glory days.
I walk over to you and without thought,
You reach for my hand.
I get goose-flesh up my arm
Just like the first time,
The two of us became “we”.