The only year I don’t remember the turkey
was the year I first dined with the man
I would marry. Blessed be the bowl
of sweet potatoes, mallow melted
in a pool of swirly cream. Blessed be no
seating assignments so I could sit
next to him. Around the table: a physicist,
an engineer, a philosopher, another poet,
a harpist. There were others too, but
I don’t remember what weepy thanks
was offered, what linens, and whether
the china was rimmed with a neat print
of ivy or gold. But I’ve committed the soap
and clean blade of his neck to memory.
I know the folds of his oxford, a bit
wrinkled from a long drive. During dinner,
the physicist said A cricket won’t burn
if it is thrown into a fire. Everyone laughed.
Some wanted to find a cricket to see
if it was really true. But this man—the man
I married—he grew quiet. Concerned. He’s the kind
of guy who would’ve fished the cricket out of the flame.