The Secret to a Happy Marriage

Can it really have taken me
sixteen years to realize you can
live in the same house with someone
and still lose track of them?

It’s true.

We occasionally lose
each other, somewhere among
discarded Legos and Everest piles
of laundry, too many words to be written
or deciding the best way to teach
dangling participles, the size of the solar system. Our words cross and
mismatch and fall, seeds
on parched August ground, hard
as pavement. Is
there a more complicated maze
than the everyday household routine?
Is there anywhere easier to lose someone
than in the daily humdrum of a life?

The two of us
we go from found to lost
in the time it takes to zombie-walk
to the baby’s bed at 2am and fall
asleep on the scratchy carpet, in the time
it takes to nurse a child’s hurt feelings on
the third floor, coming back to bed
only to find the
other has already fallen asleep.

Maybe the key to this thing called
isn’t remaining in love
(Lord knows I love you)
or sticking to those vows
(rules parch and crack and can’t
keep a meaningful thing together)
but maybe
the key is finding the energy
or the courage
to keep finding each other again
and again.

Shawn Smucker
Shawn Smucker
Shawn is the author of the book The Day the Angels Fell, a middle-grade adventure tale that asks the question, “Could it be possible that death is a gift?” He has also co-written numerous non-fiction books and lives in the city of Lancaster, PA, with his wife and their six children. He blogs regularly about family, faith, and city-living at

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