I loved you by the bending tree
Where N plus J marks you and me.
I loved you outside Williston,
The year before God made us one.
I loved you in a paisley dress,
When everything in me said, Yes.
I loved you when your hair was long,
Like Mary and her sixties song.
I loved you in your wedding gown,
And how we tiptoed out of town.
I loved you on the balcony
Of our small flat in Germany.
I loved you when your heart was buoyed,
And even when you were annoyed.
I loved you when our first son came;
Yes, Karsten is a boy’s first name.
I loved you with the quiver full;
How could you carry such a bull!
I loved you for your leadership.
That hulk’s still sitting on your hip!
I loved you with your autumn bloom,
As if God said, “Talitha kum!”
I loved you subtle in your joy;
I loved you sweater-clad and coy.
I loved you beaming, eyes a-bright,
All formal black, and my delight.
I loved you on a mountain deck,
When I was dripping from the trek.
I loved you stokin’ at my back,
Or if you coasted with your snack.
I loved you when God took the stress,
And gave us peace at Inverness.
I loved you in the Blue Ridge trove
Near Asheville that they call the Cove.
I loved you when they made us wait.
“No charge!” they said, “the meal was late.”
I loved you when you joined with ease
To stare down all our enemies.
I love you still with mystery:
The mystery that you love me.