My first wife, and last!
Nine lives ago, at least.
Forty-five years ago divorced.
Sleek sloop without a mast.
The sleek sloop Happiness dismasted,
Broken into sticks on the rocks.
The best wife I have ever had, the only!
One more than I deserved.
Irresistibly, we regret the past,
Like scratching a delicious itch.
I regret my youth a little bit.
A little bit is not a lot
For a guy as big as the sky!
Stop trying to be witty—
And pause unrepentantly to remember
The girls in their summer dresses,
Whose dresses existed to be lifted,
Whose high heels were for walking naked!
And the soft Caribbean in midwinter was true-blue,
On a small white sloop with you,
And Whitney Ellsworth and his then wife, too,
Lovely Whitney, the kindest man I knew.
The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
But time and chance happeneth to them all,
Forty-five split-second years ago.