Anniversary Plans vs. Real Life

(from a poem by Ai)

You keep me waiting in a truck
while you kneel on a wet cement slab
pulling and pushing with your trowel
trying to turn rough into smooth.

It’s October, snow falling, steaming
headlights aimed at yet another job
unfinished in the dark. After this
it’s home, where you’ll be too tired

to dance me to the bedroom,
too tired to talk, only thing left is supper.
You’re gritty with sand and snow
I’m cold and lonely in the truck.

Where is the night we planned, the special night
of candles––away from kids?
Where are the years we came in from the cold
to drop our clothes in puddles on the way.

Twenty years gone by, taking the zest we felt,
bundling our lives into dreams
no longer etched in stone, dreams
no longer first choice but left to last.

—Jackie Langetieg, Verona WI