23 years since you uttered
Vows that fail to encapsulate
All your shortcomings.
23 years since two damaged
Souls interlocked and formed
A broken whole.
23 years since your God-inspired union
Produced three naturally God-hating
Plants who had to be tended again
By the Creator Himself in order to grow.
23 years since you bore each other’s burdens
And broke each other’s backbones.
23 years of silent endurance, misunderstandings,
Subtle violence, rage, rejection, pain….
23 years of love and God’s mercy that surmounted
The adversary’s disuniting ploys.
But you still werent left unscathed.
23 years of scars. Still livid today. Still bleeding and burning
But you smiled and kissed and
Ate cake and drank your champagne.
Surrounded by your kid who hadn’t seen the worst,
Wasn’t traumatized and scared of Marriage;
And by the one who hadn’t seen the worst
But knew enough to last her a lifetime.
Today, you celebrate.
Today, I do too.
Things could have been worse after all.
But even as your oblivious kid
Wishes you a happy anniversary,
The words stick in my throat-
They won’t come out.
I really tried to congratulate you,
But in doing so, I knew I would be
Seeing your union as endurance
And not just love.
So I didn’t say anything.
Some things sound truer, never said.