We cannot name this festival
anything like a beginning
of all thatís come before --
and at long and lovely last, legal.
We meet to celebrate nearly thirty years
late working hours
and red wine on the white sofa.
Also, a lifetime of good meals,
rainy days, each reading her own book,
vacations enjoyed or endured,
peals of uncontrollable laughter.
Four parents, three, then two, now one,
mortgages paid off,
arguments that foster intimacy
surfing crests of anger
into the wash of understanding,
a decades-in-the-making garden.
Memories of loons yodeling in the distance.
Today we celebrate
The all thatís still to come,
the way anxiety turns to anticipation,
association to assurance,
not the intention, but the accomplishment,
not the aspiration, but the achievement.