Do you take this man?

September 28, 2012

Years ago, when I first got my husband out of our home, I breathed a sigh of relief and imagined a life free from being afraid every day. He left somewhat willingly, after a night of chaos and terror that ended with police standing in our bedroom, asking him why his shirtsleeves were covered with blood and the children were hiding in their bedrooms, ended with me putting the children in the car and knocking on a neighbor’s door at midnight.

He got worse before he got better. Several hospitalizations, one week in rehab, and some months later, he began to woo me back. I’d like to say he was cunning, but I do not know that it was premeditated, the way he got us to trust him again. I was seeing a man I had never seen before, and I was filled with hope. I suspect that he even surprised himself, this person he had become, thoughtful and present and clearheaded and patient and kind. He asked if he could move back in. I told him it was too soon. He asked if he could move back in. I told him maybe. And then I wrote this poem.

With This Ring

Do you take this man?
Do you take this man
for better or worse
for richer or poorer
in sickness and in health?
Do you take this man
who, in sickness,
will break your heart
steal your soul
use your body
to appease his pain?
Do you take this man
who will tell you the sun is shining
when the sky is black as night?
And still you know
somewhere, the sun is shining.
Do you take this man
who will give you moments of joy
muted by years of fear and despair?
Do you take this man
who will drain you of hope
until you are an empty bottle?
Do you take this man?
Do you take this man back?
This man, whom you love too easily
but is not easy to love.
Do you let this man
pick up the pieces of the life he has broken?
Let him place the ring
back on your hand
when what you want
is a purple heart
to wear around your neck
as evidence of your internal wounds
and your courage.
Do you take this man
back into your life?
This man, who promises love
but will not, cannot
promise you anything else
beyond this day.
The answer to these questions should have been “No.”

My Tree

September 25, 2012

My house has a name. I didn’t know it at the time that I bought it. I never noticed the weathered brass plate attached to the gate posts at the end of the driveway, not until I drove through those gates on closing day. “The Tree House,” the plate read. I suppose it is because it is surrounded by trees. There are cherry trees that dot the lawn, if you can call it a lawn. Maybe I should say “that dot the front weeds.” These trees are good for sitting in, as my cats and I have discovered. The house is surrounded by acres of woods and thus, acres of trees. It turns out that these trees, the “ornamental” ones, had never been pruned. Vines climbed up their trunks and broken branches posed awkwardly. And so a man came to help me with my trees. One tree, which sat on the edge of the weeds and woods, was covered with a blanket of vines. The tree man and I looked at it and he asked me if he should cut it down. So hidden was this tree that we could not even tell what kind of tree it was. “Let’s uncover it,” I told him, as if this was some great adventure, despite the fact that I would be doing none of the work. I left him with the tree, and returned to find a mountain of cut vines, almost as high as the tree’s lower branches. “It’s an oak tree,” said the tree man. “A weeping oak!” I exclaimed. “I’ve never heard of a weeping oak.” And so off to the internet I went, where I did indeed find that a weeping oak existed, but my tree is an ordinary oak. It is weeping because it was hurt. It was trapped and weighed down. Its branches are now free from vines and maybe someday, they will reach for the sky. My tree’s trunk has scars deep in its bark from the choking vines, and I wonder, is it too late? Will my tree grow into the tree it was meant to be… a mighty oak? My tree sits awkwardly on a hill, its roots not too firmly planted, barely holding on. I love my tree.


Rubani Safar

The Souls Journey Within - Reclaiming Your Path


Exploring the west, one weekend at a time.

Dr. Jen Gunter

Wielding the lasso of truth

The Backpacking Shrink

Sell your cleverness, and buy bewilderment - Rumi


To Catch A Falling Cactus

Long Haul Trekkers

Adventure with Dogs

Sheri Silver

living a well-tended life... at any age


Monthly Tips for EFT Couples Therapists

Bonnie Rae

simple days with bonnie rae.

Ferocious Foodie

One man's brutally honest opinion about all things edible.


Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Empty House, Full Mind

Views of life from the empty nest

World Cup 2014

welcome! Please contribute your opinions about world cup

The New Elizabeth

Reinventing Myself

PeanutBubba & Fluff

The "just for your entertainment" tales of mommyhood

Lessons Learned

Life has taught me well