First There Must Be Paper

The first anniversary is paper or clocks,
but there was no paper to give:
no invitations,
no license,
no wedding photos,
no thank you notes.
Instead we have the clock,
ticking off years until
paper might be ours.

No cotton: the year we found the dogs.
No flowers: the year we lost your mother.
No candy: the year it wasn’t cancer.
No pottery: the year we bought a house.
We build marriages from
wool and iron, wood and steel,
that no one knows to give us,
that many would keep from us.

Halloween seemed like a fun day
to let people guess the couple behind the costumes,
to create our own type of anniversary,
but thirteen years later,
we are still waiting to be recognized.

This year there will be no lace.
First, there must be paper.