In Praise of Detours

“Asymmetrical Symmetry, 1” by Rachael Peretic

At the starting line of my white
suburban guilt, I first foresaw a tweedy
liberal blue-blood in my future,
a family friend. Then—God forbid—
a disheveled manic angel.
I was on my way to an addiction
to unstable men who would disappoint me,
fair-haired, blue eyed progeny, a divorce.
But traffic was heavy.
I was impatient and took a detour.

You were on your way to winning
a black trophy wife to please your father,
who always disappointed you.
You were this quirky drummer
with a blow out ‘fro, a laugh and a stutter.
You never wanted to date a white woman
again, and I didn’t care. I thought you were sent
on some mission of rescue by a mutual friend.
Not sure what you saw, but you couldn’t
leave me alone. You called me from the phone
in my dorm lobby and took your time asking me out.

35 years later, our three children
have your heart-shaped face, and my smile,
conceived in the laughter we share.
Tonight, I arrive here, knowing I have loved you
more than half my life,
and that more than this house
you are my home.