This Day

Paths

This Day

By Annette Benedetti

This perfect moment
is not the beginning
You have always been here.

It’s the steady rhythm of your breath
the way I can feel it catch
in the back of my throat
even when we are apart

There you are.

And I swear
I could feel you there
silently huddled in the dark
back when I was only a child
and all I knew was my breath

There you were
patiently waiting.

Now the years stretch out behind us
full of tangled moments
strands of time interwoven
telling our story
tracing the path back from our first encounter
when we were still fresh
and hungry to know each other
scars and all.

We came together
merging into one
and learned to love
kind at first
then caught up in time’s strained dance
we grew rough
until we rubbed each other raw

I had forgotten
how your name fits perfectly in my mouth
and how no other can make me full.

I did not know then that love is fragile
and commitment is difficult
and that there would come a time when
only strength and perseverance would be left.

But I am strong
and you are determined
and now here we stand together at the future’s altar
This is our moment
precious, perfect
smooth like a stone pulled from the river bed
polished by the battle between
water, sand, and time.

This is our precious moment
where we can look upon the years
that stretch out before us like
palms face down
fingers spread
All those paths
All those struggles
All those hopes,
dreams,
possibilities.

Never alone.
Never alone.
You have always been here
huddled against my silence.

This piece was written to be read at a wedding several years ago.

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