Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tuesday Poem: Just Fine

Saturday will be fine. We’ll start the day with coffee. The tennis club will have a working bee which we’ll forget about. A friend will ride over on her bike. The boys will jam in our boatshed. Our next-door neighbours will finally start on their deck. The fire brigade will be called out to the lighthouse. My husband will buy butterfish for dinner. Amy will look beautiful in her grandmother’s wedding dress. I’ll walk with my daughter in Days Bay to get a glimpse of it. We’ll eat kiwifruit gelato on the beach. That sort of thing.     

Mary McCallum
Eastbourne 2006

It's our 25th wedding anniversary today and I have been very uncertain about what to post here to celebrate that fact. My husband hates hates hates cheesiness and PDAs (public displays of affection), and is a bit suspicious of poetry and likes his privacy, so no love poems then ... (and I do have them.) I wrote a poem once about him in his olive grove during a storm but what I found wasn't the poem I thought it was. He's very happy in the olive grove, my husband, tending things, picking olives, building stone walls. 

I've already posted a number of poems here that I wrote about the grove around when my chapbook was published last year ... so what to do? Last night, I trawled through old poetry folders - astonished by the sheer number of dashed-off 'drafts' and finished poems I'd forgotten about - and feeling it wasn't going to get any easier, I emailed my friend Helen Rickerby asking if I could use her poem Curtains from My Iron Spine. Helen's a Tuesday Poet like me - a very good poet, in fact, but also someone with a very good heart, and this shines through her work. Curtains is about a couple (her parents) who are always together in the same house and never sick and are 'like a pair of curtains that overlap at their edges'. 

I love this love poem for so many reasons. It is of course a wish, not real at all, but the description of the longlastingness and everydayness of true love is the thing that felt so right to me today of all days... So, girded with Helen's permission, I started writing her poem up on my blog and was finished, when I remembered some more old folders of mine from another computer. I couldn't resist a flick through ... and found Just Fine, and it felt just right. 

It's about being happy together - those ordinary family moments on an ordinary day here, at our place, by the beach. At first I had no idea when I wrote it - but I realise that it must have been 2006, with Amy's wedding. The poem is also about looking forward to things and the potential inherent in the work we do and lives we lead and promises we make. I like that there's a wedding there.  

Anyway, that's us. Twenty-five years together since our wedding in Wellington on March 26 1988.  Three children. One dog. One house. One Barn. Thousands of olive trees and books. Countless family meals and perfect Christmasses. Friends we've kept and friends we've found and people, large and small, who've come into our family. Lots and lots of Saturdays and Sundays like this one in the poem. Happy.

Happy Anniversary to us. 


Kathleen Jones said...

Congratulations to you both Mary! What an achievement! I love the prose poem. Are you going to add it to the Eastbourne anthology? I've got something, but not sure if suitable, so thanks for the enquiry. I'll have to see and things are a bit frantic this week.
Enjoy your celebrations!

Helen Rickerby said...

Congratulations to you both! Hope you have a quietly special day.

Janis said...

Happy Anniversary! Lovely prose poem.

T. said...

Wow — 25 years! Marvlous.


Catherine said...

Congratulations on twenty five years (and the three children, and the rest of it). All the best for at least twentyfive more!

Michelle Elvy said...

Lovely lovely post and life of poetry, both in and out of the olive grove. Here's to your 25 years, and many more!

And now I must go seek out Curtains, too -- such a good image!