For Debbie, who married me–a poem, for her birthday



When we sat on the wooden bench in the evening
with the scent of lavender pushing out over the strait,
the pages of salt water turning at our feet,
and I said I loved you, and you smiled out at the sea,
I knew, I would never fully know you.
And yet, as we sat in that stillness, the dark draping
slow and warm over our shoulders, how I thrilled
to that part of you that travelled ahead of me
on waters I had no compass for.

When you carried your books and folders through the snow,
me, behind you with the suitcase and stands,
and we entered the windowless room where you would open
your mind and your soul to strangers—finding channels
for their fears, and inlets for their dreams—
I kissed you, and you held me, briefly. Leaving,
I turned to watch you through the door from the lobby,
and I knew I would always share you,
and in sharing, stay close to you.

When we hold hands and walk the lane to the gate
and listen to the frogs that sound like ducks,
or check the saskatoons, or stop at the cranberries,
or stand—our necks craned back—on the road under stars,
and when you hold the lantern as I bend beneath the tree,
lending light enough to loop the catch around the trunk,
and we start back in silence through the shadows,
I watch for the yellow glow of home—
and always, like some joyous kiss of morning,
I find it, at the joining of our hands.


  1. “I knew I would always share you, and in sharing stay close to you.” A wonderful expression of the freedom of love in the sacred setting of nature.

  2. oh, so beautiful written and worded and expressed!
    thanks for sharing your sweetheart <3
    the worlds a richer, brighter, happier place for sharing your lives and love and also through pen 🙂

  3. Poetic, personal, intimate tribute. Thanks for sharing this, and Deb!

    Whether to “walk the lane to the gate, or check the saskatoons”, echoes
    of kindred moments at ‘Peaceful Pines’ !

    M & I

  4. I’m sitting here in the Carrot cafe (I’m a volunteer barista and it’s a slow morning) and I’ve just read the poem out loud to my co-barista…and there’s been a long, lovely silence between us as we let the ripples move out from its centre.

  5. Sam – those of us with less poetic or romantic husbands are trying hard not to share this with them so as not to offend or raise eyebrows!

    But Stephen, this is beautiful in so many ways. Your willingness to share, to love, to appreciate each other, nature, and silence are very fine qualities. While this is a tribute to your wife, it also speaks volumes about you.

    This is the line that really caught my attention: “ I thrilled
    to that part of you that travelled ahead of me on waters I had no compass for.” Such selflessness. And this is a quality of my husband that I truly appreciate – even if he could verbalize it this way.

  6. Lovely, as always, and so nice to see see old fashioned romance and poetry is alive and well. The rest of our husbands will forgive you for showing them up Steve, I wouldn’t worry ????. Forever-love to both of you, Happy Birthday to you Deb!

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