10 second love story: “End table eternal smile photograph”

picket fence

End table eternal smile photograph

 

I used a glove box Bic pen to draw a decades-old treasure map

on the back of one of your turn-of-the-century love notes

 

Under an edge-of-town half-moon sky a chain link fence circles the footprint

of a couples skate roller rink under what is now an empty construction site

 

Dying daffodils surround the Second Lutheran Church where we first met during

Sunday School pageants where you were the Virgin causing my impure thoughts

 

In the parking lot that used to be the high school football field I stand

in the shadow of a long-ago Friday night under-the-shirt halftime kiss

 

Using parked Plymouth headlights I illuminate a public park swingset where we would

toast our future with loose leftover beers poured into Bel-Loc Diner paper cups

 

Backing slowly into your parents’ old driveway, cracked and crumbling,

behind me is their now-vacant house that stands inside a tilted picketless fence

 

To the left is the gazebo where on one knee I pulled a blue velvet box

from my back pocket causing a smile and a tear just before the word ‘yes’

 

And to the right is the former full-bloom cherry tree underneath which

our gold-framed end table eternal smile prom photograph was snapped

 

Wedged into the frame, hiding me but leaving you showing and glowing still,

Is a prayer card with two dates that bookend by 20 years the day you said ‘I do’

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