A follow up to “Holding even the ocean back”

With poet Andrea Hollander Budy’s permission, I have the pleasure of sharing with all of you the full-length version of the poem I referenced in my recent post, “Holding even the ocean back.” If you didn’t read the post, go back and read it either before or after reading this beautiful poem. It will put the poem in context.

This poem is published in the book, “The Other Life” which you can obtain a copy of by emailing ahbudy@gmail.com.

“Why I Married Him” by Andrea Hollander Budy

In front of the whole class
when I stopped mid-sentence, lost
for a single word, silence
pushing its way in, unstoppable
as a wave, my mind like a sunbather
weary from the heat of the beach, asleep
in the constant glare, the sea’s drone
masking the sea’s approach,
waves moving imperceptibly closer,
about to take over,

he found it, the lifeguard who had sat quietly
all summer long, more looked at
than looking, found and shoved
the right word into the right place
like a wall built to keep the sea out,
and saved me.

And I knew then that with him life would be
like that. Even on the calmest days
he’d stay up on his ten-foot chair
watching, ready to hold
even the ocean back.

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