Edmond

The Wedding Poem

A few months ago, Emme, a reader-turned-friend, asked me if she could pay me to write a short story for her son, something she could give him as a special wedding present. I considered the very cool opportunity but declined. At the time, I was in the throes of researching and writing my big 2015 novel (King John), and writing a short story could prove too potent a distraction. I needed to focus.

I countered with a proposal:  what about a poem?

She was equally delighted. When I declined payment, she insisted on donating money to charity instead, which made the happiness of a wedding poem that much sweeter.

I wrote a questionnaire for her son (Anthony) and his betrothed (Mike) asking them questions: what kind of kid were you? How would you describe your love? What is your favorite color? Where is your favorite place in the world? She forwarded the questions and they dutifully answered. Some of their responses challenged me.

“Our love is like a boulder.”

“My favorite color is blue with green a close second.”

“Our love is like a redwood.”

Hmmmmm.

I wondered how to create something to honor them both and their love. After all, I’m no poet. Sure, I love poetry but I’m just a dabbler. That’s not false humility. It’s true. Also, I am a terrible dancer, but I love to dance. I sing off key, but I sing. I think we should all attempt creative talents we do not possess because it helps us admire those who excel in these areas.

Plus, it’s damn fun.

While crafting their poem, I learned of their courtship: their first date (Mets game), the things each one does which drives the other nuts, a description of the park where they were to marry, and their special wedding clothes. Emme sent me links and background information. I studied their photographs. They seemed like lovely men.

They were married at the end of June. At the reception, Emme presented them with a wedding poem.

***

Mike, did you ever dream,

as a child, when you thought you knew everything,

did you dream that love would come for you, like a family of redwoods,

standing tall and strong beside you, the fresh, clean heady scent of holiness

swimming inside you, reminding you to love?

Did you dream,

that he would forgive your papers left everywhere,

and that he would love you tenderly, with grace and humor, this man of great integrity?

How could you know?

How could you know that one day,

when asked about your favorite place in the world, you would answer,

“Anywhere he is.”

 

Anthony, did you ever dream

that love would stop you in your path like a boulder,

relentless in its desire to be loved, to be recognized as loving,

you, who spent your childhood wrapped in book after book, fact after eager fact,

Waiting impatiently for someone to listen to your hard-won knowledge?

And already, someone interested in knowing you, in loving you, was walking his path to you.

A menschlichkeit, a man you would admire for his openness to the good in humanity.

A man who cherishes your clever jokes, your amazing intellect.

Your hard-won knowledge is now fully loved.

 

As you come together in Preservation Park,

proud Victorian homes admiring with silent majesty two kings in love,

When you catch each other’s gaze,

will you remember the past?

Your first date at Shea Stadium, the day Anthony recalls,

“The Mets lost, but we won.”

In front of the park fountain, on the gorgeous lawn,

will you flash to your future?

Lives pursuing justice, and music, and faith, with gray in your hair?

Living in your own home, a family of two, or four, or possibly so many more?

Or will you see each other in the present on your wedding day?

Anthony in his kittel, dancing with birds, crowns, grapes and vines,

pomegranates, too.

Michael in a clever gray suit, grinning and hungry for this new chapter to begin.

Will you see each other as the men you are today?

Will you say yes to that man, today’s man, and yes to that tomorrow man, too?

Each day you say yes, the sky will be blue, with green a very, very close second.

 

Did you ever dream, Mike?

Could you have known, Anthony?

That one day, you would love this way?

 

 

 

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5 Responses to “The Wedding Poem”

  1. Nico Jaye Says:

    Beautiful poem, Edmond. You may say you’re a dabbler, but your dabbles brought a tear to my eye. <3

  2. Debbie Smith Says:

    It’s again one of those times I want to squish you!

  3. Sara Says:

    Beautiful poem that makes for a wonderful wedding present. <3

  4. Jo Broshar Says:

    I almost feel like I know them………..your words never fail me.

  5. Ann Says:

    Gorgeous poem. I obviously don’t know these men, but your words brought their love to life for me. What a wonderful gift for the two of them as they start their life together.

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