Saturday, December 12, 2015

Walking with My Husband

My husband, Denis, subscribes to a site called "poem-a-day" (, and he just sent me a poem that he found uncannily descriptive of the way we often walk together:   he striding purposefully ahead to accomplish the distance we had set for ourselves, while I am dropping to my knees every few feet to photograph the naughty bits of a flower or waiting for that dragonfly to return to the perch my presence frightened it from.  It's kind of a joke between us, these different styles of walking, and it's probably the major reason we rarely go walking together, at least in nature.  There's quite a sad note to this poem, however, and it makes me want to walk as long and as often as I can with my dear husband.  Even if I do fall "three, fifteen, forty steps behind."

The poem is called "Bogliasco" by Robert Polito, the title referring to a small Italian village where Polito and his wife had visited -- and walked -- together.

by Robert Polito

I’m always running ahead of my life,
The way when we walk you are always

Three, fifteen, forty steps behind
Taking a picture, or inspecting

A bottlebrush tree, a cornice, the sea
As it breaks white on the striated rock,

As though I can’t dare look, and
I’m always running away from myself

The way when we walk you are always
Asking me to slow down, and what will happen

When one of us dies, and, if it’s me first,
There’s no one’s back in our photos anymore.

*  *  *

Here are a few more photos, with my dear husband's back in each of them.  We do get around.  Just walking at different speeds.

At the Saratoga Battlefield

At the beach in Montauk, Long Island

At Moreau Lake State Park


The Furry Gnome said...

Glad to see you do get him out there sometimes!

Anonymous said...

We were at Moreau State Park on Saturday.
Why is the lake so low?

Laura Lee Johnston said...

Oh, dear. That poem struck home for me too! I have so many pictures of my husband's back, and I'm trying my darndest to stave off that day when there will be no more photos from our walks together. Thank you for that one!

threecollie said...

Awesome and poignant. Everyone has to wait for me too...short, stout and always stopping to look at or listen to or photograph something or other. lol We still all walk together now and then though.

Unknown said...

Jackie, that walk in an inheritance from our father, who almost dragged us along by the hand when we were still too young and small to quite be able to keep up with him.

The difference you describe is reminiscent of the walks taken by C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful poem. Let us not waste a precious moment, walking together. Alone. MKJ