Sister, I hope that lovely blessings for a long and happy union
are all you and he will ever need.
But if the beast of life one day
cuts you both off at the knees,
if it roars barbarically in your face and tears your limbs off,
if the sight of holy land makes your skin crawl,
and your veins shatter,
if the world grabs a serrated knife
and punches you ruthlessly in the gut,
Gasp and retrieve the vows you make today.
Gulp and snort and heave
to recover the promises you’re cheering
so mightily and proudly for.
Inhale them savagely back into your bones
like your life and your marriage depend on it.
Because they do.
The words will be rearranged and mangled
and the sentences wildly deformed.
They’ll sound little like the pretty oaths
you will speak and hear this afternoon.
But these, sister–
My God, these
are the ones that matter most.