Gail Thomas

Marriage at 63

I did not expect to stand
in this garden, tongues 
of orchids circling our necks, 
or speak vows before grandchildren
who led your old dog to walk
between us. 

With children grown, loves
buried, mother and father gone,
our bodies maps of countries
whose names have been changed, 
we counted a bone-yard 
of losses.

Compost simmered under
snow all winter—egg shells,
pits and parings, tufts of hair and ash—
to fertilize what remains. 
And now, this yes,
steady as late night coals, 
glowing and banked. 

link to video

Gail Thomas’ books are Odd Mercy, Waving Back, No Simple Wilderness, and Finding the Bear. Her poems have been widely published in journals and anthologies. Among her awards are the Charlotte Mew Prize from Headmistress Press, the Narrative Poetry Prize from Naugatuck River Review, and the Massachusetts Center for the Book’s “Must Read.” She is a teacher and editor who lives in Northampton, MA, with her wife and poetry loving therapy dog.