Hearts on Fire


He looks at her with hungry eyes, indifferent to the ears that might hear that don’t belong to her.  When he finally speaks, his voice is satin, silken and soft, honey’s sweet drizzle. He purrs.

“You look luscious….” Their eyes are locked but his words trail as he slips into memory.  Distant or yesterday’s, we really don’t want to know.

She’s aglow, a school girl’s flush, blushing at thoughts – remembrance – she has never told a soul. She smiles and shakes her head, a silent tsk, adjusting the flimsy belt on her paisley silk robe, pulling it tight as if that will keep her secrets.

Her rosy cheeks are tell-all.

She shuffles over to the refrigerator and pulls out the eggs and juice, her hands full but her heart fuller.  She could be playing hard to get but it’s more like a rhythm, a path worn well, a dance.

Their dance and they know all the steps.

His eyes follow her movement; nothing is lost on him.  If ever I try to steal a picture, he refuses to look at me or deliver a smile for the camera.  He turns to her with those same eyes, lasered.  Enraptured.  Captivated. Aggravating but adorable.

And rare…oh, so rare.

They take their places. He cracks farm-fresh eggs. She reaches up for plates and down for silverware.

Dancing. A two step.

Sometimes he tells me things from their past, like that wedding night secret or the time a carload of them went to that place but he didn’t have money, so he escaped a regret.  Plus, telling is kind of like reliving the good times.  For the bad times, telling remembers the eventual victory over them, the protection through them, the relief of avoiding a fall.

They’ve made mistakes, sure.  But they know the value of forgiveness, its redemptive nature, how it bridges wrong to right.  They’ve forgiven much and they’ve been forgiven much.

They tend each other better than a master gardner’s nurture.  Their souls are knit so tight there’s no such thing as fray.  They still reach for each other’s hand if they’re close enough to touch.

And after 52 years he still looks at her in such a way you want to scream, “GET A ROOM!”


Now, that is a picture of marriage.


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