Her wedding had been a bright dot
on the timeline of her life,
her divorce, a dark one.
The line connecting the two
for the way it had all gone down
had blurred the happy memories
they once shared.
When he was alive,
she was a hypersomniac,
for she slept to escape him through dreams
that led her into the arms of her dreamboat,
but when he died,
he haunted those dreams,
driving her to insomnia,
& into the arms of the man
who would become her lifeboat.
He chased ambulances,
she chased dreams,
but when he helped her see that
the new American Dream
was as shallow as suing those
with deep pockets,
she got herself a settlement
to pay for law school,
becoming a bank breaker for some
& a dream maker for others.
Martin was into building blocks,
He liked to build homes,
she liked to decorate them.
When a bulldozer named Suzie—
a wannabe homewrecker—
she was bested by these newlyweds,
for when they’d gotten married,
they had thrown away the receipt.
When she looked across the table—
over candlelight & roses
& dinner for 2—
she wasn’t reminded of why she’d said yes
why she’d continued to say it.
He was a comedy of manners,
she, a comedy of errors.
When they fell in love,
going so far as to do
that nauseating heart thing
with their hands at sunset
(becoming an Instagram cliche),
she realized she’d taught him how to lighten up,
to not be afraid of putting off others
for not being a put-on,
even as he’d taught her how to apply a little polish—
not to cover up who she was,
but to reveal the wonderful woman she was
underneath the social awkwardness
that she had learned,
out of necessity,
Writing for children has renewed my love for fairy tales, fables and fantasy (“The Wizard of Oz” and “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, to name a couple), and so, when I purchased a three-in-one picture frame, instead of filling the slots with the standard 8X10 enlargements, I decided to do something a little different, sort of a storyboard with illustrations (i.e. artsy photographs). I found a beautiful tablet of “fairy tale” scrapbooking paper at a craft store that was perfect for this project (and will be for others).
I decided to tell the story of the life of the Richards family in fairy tale form. This is what I came up with:
Once upon a time in a Floridian June, there was a woman named Sarah (which meant Princess), and a man named Brian (meaning high and noble).
A writer and a handyman, they were—each complementing the other.
Twas like at first sight, and the friendship flowered into love when this troubadour with a tool belt wrote a poem for this queen of drama writing, beginning in marriage with a rose gold ring.
Then what started with two became three, for along came Hannah Beth, born on Tuesday–gifted with twice the grace. Fearfully and wonderfully made was she, with eyes of cornflower-blue on a rainy day, and a crown of hair that was not blond, nor brown, nor red, but somewhere in between.
And so, this wee family of three still to grow, lives happily ever after still, in a cottage on a row.