Searching for Something Eternal for Wanda, on our
J. Marshall Jenkins 8th wedding anniversary
Just a moment while we check out our home surroundings
for something eternal. Consider the clear plastic bird feeder
full of black seeds. A cat must lurk in the bushes below
because no birds visit at the moment. Or the screened porch
where an old TV that came with the house sits on the swing,
unwatched, dismantled after many idle years, no glow,
no canned laughter. A ceiling fan runs here in the den
on medium speed. My frayed leather sandals expose
cooling toes with ten toenails hanging in there.
I could go on and on, of course, but the point is
none of this will last forever, not a thing in sight:
Things will just break apart and decompose or dissolve
and perhaps ascend to the stars or sink to the deep rock
and reemerge in some other whole. Yet, gathered
as a whole, all of it will last forever and more: All is eternal.
Forever borders eternity like a flat beige peach matting
around a framed family vacation photograph.
Eternity is not only forever but now as we love.
Somebody who lived here before hung that swing
and set up the TV to sit and watch with somebody else.
Suddenly a brave cardinal feasts then flies into the magnolia
galaxy of limbs, leaves, and blossoms to flirt with a female
on the far edge. Taking the cue, I walk my blood blistered,
craggy toenails to line up next to your well-kept ones
as I land on a couch beside you, my love. Somebody
blessed all this ordinariness, breathed life into it, eternal life.
For you can read love stories in every thing and everything.