A honeymoon. How often does one happen according to the dreams that preceded it? In this poem, Wesley McNair, a poet from Maine, describes a first night of marriage in a tawdry place. But all’s well that ends well.
For My Wife
How were we to know, leaving your two kids behind in New Hampshire for our honeymoon at twenty-one, that it was a trick of cheap hotels in New York City to draw customers like us inside by displaying a fancy lobby? Arriving in our fourth-floor room, we found a bed, a scarred bureau, and a bathroom door with a cut on one side the exact shape of the toilet bowl that was in its way when I closed it. I opened and shut the door, admiring the fit and despairing of it. You discovered the initials of lovers carved on the bureau’s top in a zigzag, breaking heart. How wrong the place was to us then, unable to see the portents of our future that seem so clear now in the naiveté of the arrangements we made, the hotel’s disdain for those with little money, the carving of pain and love. Yet in that room we pulled the covers over ourselves and lay our love down, and in this way began our unwise and persistent and lucky life together.