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A Marriage

by Brett Foster

We tell them to bring along their soft drinks
for the grandkids if the grandkids need to have 
soft drinks, because here there's only pink lemonade.
These days are painful down to the very joints,
but we enjoy them together as ones lucky
to have them. I keep waiting to see 
if the radiation seeds buried deep
in the prostate may eventually go
their own way. They worked, but good riddance, I say.
And at night, rising three times usually,
we've each been blessed with the means of separate
rooms the better to support our sleeping.
I once thought this would be a sad existence,
as if sliced away from my longtime
bedfellow with our intertwining limbs,
each in our own rooms each night like a pod
that's going into orbit. Yet the arrangement
suits us, such as we are now. If the new
separation of our nights somehow falls 
beneath the married ideal, then there's at least
recompense- as when, in the golden light
of each new morning, the missing one
comes to the door, or we meet at the table,
adventuring again, both rescued from our solitudes. 

Brett Foster is the author of two poetry collections, The Garbage Eater (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011) and Fall Run Road, which was awarded Finishing Line Press's Open Chapbook Prize. His writing has appeared in Boston Review, IMAGE, Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, Raritan, Southwest Review, and Yale Review. He teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature at Wheaton College. "A Marriage" is influenced by the medical struggles of older friends and family members, as well as the author's own season of sickness.