Sacrament for my wife

Almost three years gone down the back roads of Ohio
timothy grass mocking the cornfields, another forest path
through fallen treesnothing transcending the afternoon rain.

First, I’ll tell you how it ends: in a wedding of everything joyful,
all ceremony and hallelujah, sweating in a rented tux
surrounded by friends, roses and wildflowers, the future beginning.

This is the way it happened: I had lost the ability to believe.
Tragedy followed me like a burnt match, dead birds and thunder.
But for my dog that needed to be fed, I’d given up altogether.

Enter another, and within weeks I couldn’t remember not to be happy.
Within months we set the date to be married, and I can’t tell you
how simple and right, as cold water and air, each day began to feel.

Love superseded whatever faith I’d forgotten years ago,
when I thought it lost for good in a cloud of incense smoke.
Which is where the end begins: beneath a cathedral of oak trees,

receiving another sacrament after too many empty years.
When I thought hope had wandered off neglected,
it had only gone looking like a child for a gum-ball prize.

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