The Wood Anniversary
What did couples exchange and receive
After five years of marriage?
Wood, I’m told, is traditional.
Though the more modern option is silverware.
I will buy you neither tree nor table.
No carving or picture frame or flooring.
No fence, no log, no splint, no walking stick,
No whittling of your likeness,
No cedar chest, no teak armoire,
And certainly, no knives and forks and spoons.
Instead, I give you this:
A cross section of our daily sleeping and waking
And the small acts that give it shape—
An extended hand on our way to the car,
The ridiculous songs we sing on the way
To work, our cats, our old photo albums,
Our maddening, unflagging lack of a camera.
My parents received a piano
On their fifth. This song is what I have for us,
A seed, a tangle of roots, a nest balanced high on a branch.