Evening Poetry, August 30

This Stranger, My Husband

By Freya Manfred

The older we get the stranger my husband becomes, 
and the less certain I am that I know him. 
We used to lie eye to eye, breathing together
in the immensity of each moment. 
Lithe and starry-eyed, we could leap fences 
even with babies on our backs. 

His eyes still dream off 
toward something in the distance I can’t see; 
but now he gazes more zealously, 
and leaps into battle with a more certain voice 
over politics, religion, or art, 
and some old friends won’t come to dinner. 

The molecules of our bodies spiral off into the stars 
on winds of change and chance, 
as we welcome the unknown, the incalculable,
the spirit and heart of everything we named and knew so well— 
and never truly named, or knew,
but only loved, at last.

You can find this poem in Speak, Mother.