I’ll get a blessing wi’ the lave, / An never miss ‘t. Robert Burns
On our wedding night, the noise
jars us—thieves boosting our mower.
Hearing your outrage, I give chase
down the alley. When they slip
between houses toward a waiting van,
I see the rusted, recalcitrant thing
they’ve prized from our grasp, see
myself, spent and comical, wearing
my only suit. Does laughter really rise
from some loosened hatch in our guts?
Maybe it breaks over us like a wave
on the east end of a lake when wind
has piled water for a hundred miles
and a moon tugs the tide higher yet
until we’re dowsed, all breath
knocked from us, our legs folded,
our sense askew. Loss offers us
its one poor gift, loud or rueful,
and pins us to the ragged earth, leaves
us gasping, upturned, primed
for a bed, then a trek down
real alleys and imagined roads.