Some readers will recall the story of how I met my wife on a train. Not like the character in Ionesco's Bald Soprano who meets his wife on a train:
Mr. Martin: Madam, I took the 8:30 morning train which arrives in London at 4:45.After a series of other bizarre 'coincidences,' e.g., living in the same flat and having a daughter with the same name, they conclude that they are husband and wife:
Mrs. Martin: That is curious! How very bizarre! And what a coincidence! I took the same train, sir, I too.
Mr. Martin: Then, dear lady, I believe that there can be no doubt about it, we have seen each other before and you are my own wife.One of the other characters in the play does call this 'indubious' conclusion into doubt, but let us leave Mr. and Mrs. Martin happily married, for any state of affairs can be doubted by the most skeptical of skeptics, and if the Martins are not man and wife, then my own 'coincidental' meeting with my wife on a train might not inevitably lead to the conclusion that she is my wife.
But to the best of my memory, I met my wife -- though she was, of course, not yet my wife -- on a train to Lauenberg, Germany, for we were 'coincidentally' headed for the same Naumann-Stiftung orientation seminar to be held at the Zündholzfabrik, or translated into English, the Matchstick Factory. Apparently, matches were once made there.
The place seems to have retained a bit of its productive capacity, for it managed to produce another match, and one quickly struck, too, lighting a fire that still burns 18 years later, so our match must have been fated, designed, even if seen only through a glass, darkly:
At times, that match we kindled sorely sticks,The devil's ever in the details, and there are always things to be worked through and out, but our marriage match seems to have been made in the heavens even if necessarily lived down to earth.
To burn within our craw, if we eat crow,
But most we glimpse the lines of that fabric's
Uncanny dark design we've sought to know.
We wandered down a street and saw a sign,
You took my hand in yours, to my surprise,
Then let it drop as if disdained design
Were little more than worthless alibis.
But later, when rejoined, that match to bless,
'Twixt two of us, by matchless deity,
That altar was a bloody, lovely mess
For you and me, if devil making three.
Or was it just we two, and no one else,
I and your own, most obscure, secret self's.
My "aye" and her "aye" in the "I do, I do" of marriage, and this has been a "Poetry Break" for the apple of my eye, who will understand it even when no one else does . . .