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Superbly Situated

February 14, 2012

I think this is a good Valentine’s Day poem for oldyweds.  It’s by Robert Hershon:

Superbly Situated

you politely ask me not to die and i promise not to
right from the beginning—a relationship based on
good sense and thoughtfulness in little things

i would like to be loved for such simple attainments
as breathing regularly and not falling down too often
or because my eyes are brown or my father left-handed

and to be on the safe side i wouldn’t mind if somehow
i became entangled in your perception of admirable objects
so you might say to yourself: i have recently noticed

how superbly situated the empire state building is
how it looms up suddenly behind cemeteries and rivers
so far away you could touch it—therefore i love you

part of me fears that some moron is already plotting
to tear down the empire state building and replace it
with a block of staten island mother/daughter houses

just as part of me fears that if you love me for my cleanliness
i will grow filthy if you admire my elegant clothes
i’ll start wearing shirts with sailboats on them

but i have decided to become a public beach an opera house
a regularly scheduled flight—something that can’t help being
in the right place at the right time—come take your seat

we’ll raise the curtain fill the house start the engines
fly off into the sunrise, the spire of the empire state
the last sight on the horizon as the earth begins to curve

I particularly love the parts about not falling down too often and looming up behind things because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m tall, and although I once played a dancer in After the Fall, my friends thought it was a hilarious casting decision.

Who doesn’t want to be loved just for “breathing regularly”?


13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2012 8:27 am

    This poem got me with the first three lines because Kent and I regularly tell each other “no dying!” It’s as though having found that marriage is amazing and fun, neither one of us can believe our good fortune.

    • February 14, 2012 8:35 am

      It got me with those lines, too. When we were about 19, Ron and I both promised to outlive each other.

  2. February 14, 2012 9:59 am

    Those first three lines are really great. I think a relationship based on “good sense and thoughtfulness in the little things” sounds just about perfect! 🙂 Plus, Noel and I also always tell each other not to die!

    • February 15, 2012 7:09 am

      It is such nice irony, the term “little things.” Like come on, it’s the least you can do.

  3. February 14, 2012 3:59 pm

    I do like this.

  4. February 15, 2012 6:37 am

    Fabulous poem and I love the term oldyweds!

    • February 15, 2012 7:10 am

      Glad you like it… It seems to me the natural antithesis to newlyweds.

  5. February 15, 2012 8:07 am

    🙂 made my day!

  6. February 15, 2012 8:13 am

    This reminds me so much of the Browning letters, where Elizabeth tells Robert that her highest ambition is to be loved for no reason whatsoever.

    • February 15, 2012 8:27 am

      Those two were such romantic fools. Reading their letters is like watching other couples I know talk to each other on FB–you just have to bask in the presence of such love.

  7. February 15, 2012 12:14 pm

    Wonderful! I love the term “oldyweds” too!

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