[To Love thee Year by Year—]

They call it sacrifice—            imagine me a tiny poppy
            on a field of green felt—brief blip of color,

                        limitless expanse. I’ve never felt foreign,
or like a lash in his eye. If it’s not love, it’s

                        very like. Most days it feels the same—
            exacting—he tweezes the stray

thoughts from my speech, cleans up my
            heart with a tortoiseshell comb.
Every lady should have such a man,
            edging her lawn with a sharp rotary blade.

                        Year by year—let’s call it always—
            editor and editrix. Engaged
                        against a flurry of typos, showered in

revisionist white out. I erase his crow’s feet,
            buff away his frown. My head—he
yawns it open, scoops out dark foam,
            yesses I’ve regretted, the tiny poppy
everyone sees flapping to pieces—

And so, we are growing taller, sweeter,
ratified in the glow of the big correction.

Rebecca Hazelton, “[To Love thee Year by Year—]” from Fair Copy. Copyright © 2012 by Rebecca Hazelton. Reprinted by permission of The Ohio State University Press.
Source: Fair Copy (The Ohio State University Press, 2012)
More Poems by Rebecca Hazelton