I think of classic heroes, of Beowulf
who swiftly answers his kinsman’s cry
to face the monster’s mauling ways.
Or of first responders, those who leap
into fire and save the frightened wounded,
carrying them down those spindly stairs.
No less brave are the archers of marriage, who rise
and stretch the bow of love even to the point
of trembling, who vie against the baser self
to find small words, kind actions, that keep
the string of vows from snapping. We cast our lot
with the chosen other. We deserve such praise.
Place the laurel on my head and his, applaud
our daily office, for our deeds are no mere
feintings, laced as they are with danger.
Bedeck the wedding chamber, bowered in bliss.
Come to the table, dine at our board. Hoist a glass
in honor of marriage. Sing with us tonight.