When my cousin and his partner announced the date of their civil partnership ceremony, they asked if I’d be willing to read something for them. Something of my choosing. I wrote a poem for them, and read it, trembling with love.
I haven’t seen the poem since reading it in London, nine years ago. And I had no idea that today…today I would go looking for it. I didn’t know what was possible then, in England, would become possible here, today.
We still have a long way to walk. But today we celebrate.
Because You Walk Together
July 8, 2006
You walk through life with humor, grace. Walk around town. Walk in the countryside. Visit other countries and hike their hills.
It is no accident that you walk together
sometimes slowly often quickly
with laughter, tears—or both
I thumbed through my poetry anthologies
scoured the Internet
phoned former English teachers
“The Golf Walk”
“The Devil’s Walk”
“Noon Walk on the Asylum Lawn”
Nowhere could I find a poem for you
How could one write about the journey of two men
when their love of life, of one another
could never fit into a finite number of lines?
Many of the photos you’ve sent me
capture you on some day hike
sun baking you into the trail
You stop to stand together
defy the wind trying to blow you into the sea below
Take a photo
How many steps did you take to find one another?
you take a moment to stand together
This union, this stillness,
fully mixed with spirit.
This union, a moon in a pale blue sky.
This union, beauty. This union,
a sign for us to study.
Because you walk together
we learn from you
Because you stand together
we are all