When they meet they don’t know the joy ahead. His smile is a sunset over the ocean, her embrace is the crash of the sea foam yearning to snuggle closer to the sand.
When they meet they don’t know the loneliness ahead. She packs her bags and it’s nothing the conference is just a few days and it’ll be good for us. His smile is a grumbling hungry stomach and yeah it’s good for us and I’ll spend some time with the guys but she doesn’t know he’s half as tall when she’s not with him.
When they meet they don’t know the stillness ahead. Their hands become handles for each other and they learn to walk slower and to talk little and to dream more about daybreak and bedsheets and the sounds of a warm home.
When they meet they don’t know the loss ahead. His tears fall into his hands like the cadence of boots in a hospital corridor. Your baby is sick and a well-intentioned hand on his shoulder. Her eyes wander like two hands against a cliff looking for purchase.
When they meet they don’t know the pride ahead. A grandchild in the arms like a table full of every food. The world is now crisp with color and the small children have grown and inherited it.
When they meet they don’t know the life they’ll put behind them. His hair is thin and his skin is paper and she does her dancing with her hands now. For every bad day they have there are a thousand good ones they remember. For each new diagnosis and each new limitation there is that dearest old friend winking it’s okay your memory never was that good.
When they meet they don’t know that one of them will speak to the assembled crowd and children and their children and their children to tell all this story all at once before the other is lowered into the earth. What’s there to say except that we didn’t know this would happen when we met. We didn’t know that life is not something you do nor something you make but something that reveals itself to us as we watch our lovers grow like the great trees that see the sun and yearn for its company.
When they meet they don’t know that love is looking into the well of the eyes of another and tasting the terror of a separate and beautiful human and returning to that well every day.