Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three times
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I am never alone.
God supplies you in various disguises
scattered through my day like an overlooked miracle:
a saint’s face in an oil-slick puddle, say,
or the dog who comes up to investigate
and lingers an extra moment in communion,
or someone stooping to put arms around a crying child.
This is to counteract those mornings
when to wake is to face broken glass in the mirror
and the least touch shatters
everything; when I recall how you’d roll over, say, “Hello,
Beautiful,” smile, and lead me gently back
from the bad-dream labyrinth
into sunlight, hot sweet tea, and the next thing to do.
Now I muscle through fog alone,
on a different, meaner street, in an uglier time,
and there’s a man who looks
like he’s been shot out of a police siren
and spent too many nights trying to find his way home.
Hank always hangs around in front
of Max’s Auto Detail — A CLEAN
CAR IS A WELL-RUNNING CAR — lopes, half bent,
as if to straighten fully would hurt, yet
when I walk by with my red hair like a flag
from a country called Abandoned Woman and forty years
of disappointment showing
on my face, he never fails to gallantly rise
to the occasion and say, “Hello, Beautiful,” and sometimes,
“I seen you in your car yesterday.”
As if he knew I were missing
some vital connection, something he could supply.
In just such small, exact details,
God matches our need for each other
with our prayers for each other, to show us,
if we pay attention, how the fabric of our long-lost love
can stretch to cover all the world.