these are the best days, i tell him. i’m eating california roll and the sun is yellow in a blue sky. beside us, an older couple, all wrinkles and cardigans, and our baby rolls on the bench between.

“these are the hardest days, but the best,” i say, referring to madeleine l’engle’s “tired thirties”, and trent is eating japanese noodles and we’re dating each other. baby between but it’s all we’ve got and it’s good, this lunch in a sushi shop in the city.

later i’ll ask, “why don’t you kiss me the way you used to?” and he’ll say, “why don’t you kiss me the way you used to?” and we’ll try, try again, as i urge aiden to do when he cries putting Duplo together. and we kiss, baby between, the way we used to, because we try. because this is all we’ve got and it’s good.

there’s no easy to romance, only this: try, try again and when he doesn’t bring you flowers, bring him flowers, or when he doesn’t hold the door for you, hold his door open and we’re learning that crying gets us nowhere.

nights later, we’re dating again, both boys with us now, and we’re at the dinner table. and he’s made us burgers and corn on the cob from the garden, and he’s given me the biggest cob and i take a bite and say, “it’s starchy.” and he looks crestfallen and i don’t get it. it’s just corn. but it isn’t. it’s him loving me.

“i really wanted it to be tasty for you,” he says and our boys are watching us, this dance, this marriage at the dinner table. and i reach over and put my hand on his. “thank you for caring so much,” i whisper.

and later on, we kiss while reading our books in bed and it’s not like it used to be. so we have to try, try again. but the trying is redemption. the trying is a covenant, even if it’s never like it used to be. for there is God between us, and this, this is all we’ve got. and it is good.

1. link up a post (old or new) between wednesday and friday that you feel is ‘broken’ or ‘imperfect’ or somehow redemptive
2. put the ‘imperfect prose’ button at the bottom of your post, so others can find their way back here (see button code in right-hand column of my blog)
3. read other’s prose, and encourage them!

Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets — Auto-Linky widget will appear right here!
This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
For best results, use HTML mode to edit this section of the post.

(for prints or originals of e’s paintings, please visit here)