redefining marriage

Out walking, I found myself contemplating
a neighbor’s sign—left up after the election,
pleading with passers-by
not to redefine marriage.

Well, I thought about that for a few blocks,
and the only marriage I actually participate in defining
is my own.
And believe me, I don’t want anyone else’s definition
interfering with that work.
It’s hard enough without someone else
thinking their reality should impose itself on ours.

Marriage is one of those words we think describes something
when it, in fact, describes someones
and is thus as unique as is each couple.

And, even within the one manifestation I know,
to be completely honest,
I don’t feel like we’ve ever even defined marriage for us.
We’re always in the process of redefining it—
sometimes refining it—sometimes refinding it.
Because we ourselves are always changing—
as individuals and as a couple—
our circumstances—
our needs—
our hopes.
And that’s as it should be.
That’s growth.

So my sign, if I were to put one up, might read:
“Don’t define marriage;
just keep redefining your own.”


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