Friday, April 17, 2009

R-O-U-T-I-N-E Spells Love

This post is to get Karina back for proclaiming our mushy love to the world in a previous post.

This is a poem I wrote for Karina for Mother's Day, 2008:

R-O-U-T-I-N-E Spells Love

At 16, love is in the feeling.
The oft-confusing awakening, the eager anticipation
of a prom date, the giddiness of a phone call or a note
from “the one.”

At 21, love is in the long, late hours
speaking dreamily of the envisioned future. The fervent hopes,
carefully-crafted plans, and naïve declarations of
“how it’s going to be.”

At 25, love is in the excitement of discovery
…and getting past the disappointment of many
unexpected discoveries.

At 30, love is in the routine.

The day-in and day-out cooking and cleaning and working and
earning and spending and weighing and balancing and
juggling and striving and hurting and fighting and
forgiving and sinning and repenting and
laughing and crying and praying and
learning and growing and deciding
and regretting and hoping
and trying.

It’s in my inability to write a poem uninterrupted
because you’re cooking dinner and the baby is crying
and the toddler peed her pants.

It’s in the decreased frequency and duration of love-making
because the baby sleeps in our bed and there’s always
some child or some mess or some matter of business to attend to.

It’s in the dissatisfaction of extra pounds and a receding hairline
and the comforting knowledge that we look better to each other every day.

It’s in the stifling confinement of family movies and going to the park and library to cater to the kids and badly-needed vacations missed and earnestly-wanted clothes and amenities gone un-bought and cavities gone un-filled and living on rice and pancakes and living in a cramped basement with no TV and no money and estranged friends.

It’s in the getting up each and every day to do
it all over again when that’s the last thing
you want to do.

It’s in learning to cheerfully accept and love all of the above by
supporting and serving and compensating for one another.

It’s in the overwhelming boredom of the daily, mundane, repetitious ROUTINE.

And one day we’ll wake up contentedly and turn to each other and you’ll smile at me gracefully through your wrinkles and I’ll touch your face gently with arthritic, worn-out hands and say, “Wasn’t that the most exhilarating, fascinating, joyful, and fulfilling ride imaginable?” And a solitary tear will drip from your beautiful eyes as you nod in agreement and we’ll tenderly embrace with
the consummate love of survivors.


Karina said... And it's a very sweet reminder while I'm in this "delicate" condition.

Celeste Dodge said...

What? Living in the fabulous basement wasn't your idea of luxury?

Stephen Palmer said...

Oh, we were grateful for the basement, believe me.

singin'mama said...

That was really beautiful! Karina is lucky to have you!

Anaise said...

Yeah, that's true . . . and I agree that it's a nice reminder for Karina in these trying days.

I am so enjoying the kid stories you're posting in your sidebar! :)

Judy Francisco said...

Steve, you are a true poet. This is great. I love hearing that you are in there for the long haul--no whining and complaining, just open eyes and appreciation. Love, Mom

DIANE said...

Wow. Your talents amaze me. A man writing a poem to his wife is the most romantic thing in the world to me. It is a gift that reflects a lot of thought and a lot of time and I think something like that is the best mother's day gift ever.

Trish said... did I miss this? It's beautiful, Steve. What a gift. Karina is lucky. And frankly, so are you!