Epithalamium, After a While
Even after so many years, we cannot
know each other fully. We’ve tried:
talked and touched, listened and
sat in silence for hours. Still,
we cannot split the other open
to crawl inside the skin, look behind
those opaque eyes. Knowing we’ve
committed to two lifetimes of unknowing,
years of living both beside and outside,
I ask you: Are you willing
to learn from a stranger? I am
willing, at long last, to try.
I actually wrote this yesterday, during our opening day festivities at my school. Part of the mission of my school is to use your gifts (whatever they may be) in order to serve others. So, during the opening speech, the president of the school asked the incoming freshman, “Are you willing to learn from a stranger?” I immediately began writing and this draft resulted.
As a note, an epithalamium is a poem written for a bride and groom on their wedding day. Of course, this poem isn’t a traditional epithalamium, as it is written from the perspective of a spouse, after years of marriage. But I like the word, so it’s staying.