We Are Learning To Make Fire

attwood
Margaret Atwood (1939 –

We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.

Dr. Sigmund Freud

Habitation

by Margaret Atwood

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

It is before that, and colder:

the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
eating popcorn
where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire


Marriage is a never ending quest of learning how to make fire, fires that can kindle the warmth of our hearts and  if you’re not careful, a fire that can get away from both of you and burn the house down. I wrote the sonnet My Courage Be in March of 2016.  I had finished a rough draft of a chap book that contained poems written the previous two years, wrestling with the difficult separation from my wife, having lived together for 32 years.  I asked a friend to read it and give me some feedback. After doing so, she said, “something’s missing, think about it.”  I did think about it. This sonnet emerged.


My Courage Be

By T. A. Fry

Pale though my courage be, I stand adorned
by love’s wreath of thorns.  Astride her gracious steed.
Her hounds hackles raised  ready for the horn,
with a bay-full mourn all straining at their leads.
Then it sounds!  The whippers-in loose the pack
to attack as is their want.  To find a trace
pleasing to them this day.  Though it may lack
the former grace of youth’s alluring face.
All this has come before and shall again.
There is but one story before my fall.
An old tale of love,  a trusted friend.
What else awaits at the end of it all?
Please.  Of my faithfulness,  let it be known.
I carry still your love within my bone.