To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.” 

Criss Jami, Venus in Arms

Hello Dear Poets-

Welcome to Open Link Night where you may post one poem of your choosing. You may also choose to write to one of the prompts you may have missed this week. Linda here, and I’ll be hosting today.

The last time I hosted dVerse, I alluded to a story about how I came to accept a marriage proposal from my husband Peter. Some of you expressed an interest in reading it, so sharing today.

It was the summer of 1996, and we had been dating for about three months. We were both smitten; I was a widow who had lost my husband 2 years before and Pete was recently divorced. After a month of dating, we decided to give cohabitation a try. We were so in love, and enjoyed one another’s company.

One evening, we were sitting on the postage stamp sized balcony of our tiny 2 story apartment, having a beer and watching the sunset. At the time, we lived in Ambler, a small town outside of Philadelphia. We were sharing stories and events of our lives, laughing and carrying on like teenagers. Pete mentioned he was born in Chippewa Falls, the home of Leinenkugel’s beer, and how he loved that beer. I said that my favorite beer of all time was Shiner Bock but since I moved to Pennsylvania, I hadn’t been able to find it. Pete said-“I bet I can find Shiner Bock for you. In fact, I’ll make a deal with you. If I find Shiner Bock here in Pennsylvania, will you marry me?” At that moment I about spit out my beer.

“Are you serious?”

“Of course I am!”

I thought about it, and replied, “Okay, if you find Shiner Bock, I’ll marry you!” and we moved on to other topics.

But Pete did not forget. Three days later, he said, “Let’s go for a ride. I have a surprise for you.” So, we hopped in my jeep and he took me to this ancient little bar called the Balligomingo Inn in Conshohocken. We sat down at the bar, and he said to the one- eyed bartender- “Do you have any Shiner Bock?” The old man said, “Let me take a look in the back. I might.” As he went in search of the Shiner, I took a look around. Typical old joint, a jar of pickled eggs sat on the back bar along with some bags of chips and shoved into a dusty corner, an old juke box played a bluesy song. Pete is not saying a word, and we are both waiting. Soon, the old man comes out of the back cooler and says, “Found it! But I only have 5,not a full six pack.”

Pete replies- “Can we open two here, and we’ll take the rest home.”

Pete tells the bartender- “You saved my life. Now this woman has to marry me, because she promised she would if I found Shiner Bock for her.” The old fella looked at him with his one good eye and said, “Well, I reckon it’s a good day all around. You are a lucky man, she’s right pretty.”

And now almost 27 years later, we are still together and in love.

So, on that note, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites:

“Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms

but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

so I love you because I know no other way than this: 

where I does not exist, nor you,

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. ” 

Pablo Neruda

Those of you new to dVerse, here’s how to participate:

  • Post any poem of your choosing on your blog or website.
  • Click on Mr. Linky below to add your name and enter the direct URL to your poem
  • On your blog, please provide a link back to dVerse. This enables others to enjoy our prompts, increases our readership and thus increases the responses to everyone’s poems. 
  • If you promote your poem on social media, use the tag #dverse poets
  • And most importantly, please do read some of the other responses to the prompt and add a short comment or reaction. Everyone likes to be appreciated! The prompt is “live” for several days – as you’ll notice by the comments you’ll receive – so do stop by another day and read a few of the latecomers too!