by Wendy DeGroat
Our friend has carved two maple leaves touching
to form a handle, then shaped the whorled bowl long
and deep, like a thumbprint pressed in the tree’s rings.
“Canadian,” he says, placing it in our hands unwrapped,
spoon and his maple lapel pin tangible as we embrace.
Canada. That escape each of us considered
when candidates stumped against our love
and votes to let it take root in our country failed.
We remained planted.
Couldn’t this be the journey of any union?
Releasing from the veined block with which we begin
the form within, shaping from separate leaves
something we can hold, and in those moments we
sense the urge for flight in our branches, coaxing it
instead to sing into the deep bowl of morning.
PHOTO: Marriage spoon carved by Norm Craig in 2010 (Richmond, Virginia).
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Norm, our friend who carved this spoon, has gradually been losing his vision and can no longer carve. I wrote this poem shortly after his eyesight began to fade as I contemplated the way that objects like this marriage spoon serve as touchstones for who we’ve been, who we are, and how we’ve loved and been loved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wendy DeGroat’s poetry has appeared in U.S. and U.K. publications, including Common-place, Raleigh Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Mslexia, Forage, and The Brillantina Project. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she works as a librarian, teaches writing workshops, and curates poetryriver.org. Her chapbook Beautiful Machinery, which includes “Marriage Spoon,” is forthcoming in 2017 from Headmistress Press.