It was my wife-to-be-in-forty-years
who turned me off of writing poems.
Well, not her
More like the aftershock—
Wait! Should I say fallout? Is fallout better?
It’s like this.
submitted a poem
containing the lines—
And I’m quoting here so cut me a little slack goddamnit will ya’?
—containing the lines
“I’m hurting myself a lot
I’m wanting to be held again
Harry, remember Harry?
said there are in fact lots of people with
qualities like yours
After such kindness, that would be a dismal thing to do”
and in the letter of rejection—
Sorry, did I say letter?
was nothing but her poem with some scribbles in the margins
and, of course,
as if it were an active verb,
the circled word
there was a scribbled note that simply read
“who’s Harry? why not Bill?”
and then she started crying
and hurt herself again
and I stopped writing.
Not sure why.
And now it’s now and now we’re married,
our consummation forced on us
by lawyers and insurance men
who could not bring themselves to see
what she and I have known for decades.
I bring this up at all
not because of Harry
or rejection either
but because she’s brought me—
Dare I say it save it’s up there in the title?
—because now she’s brought me Kevin.