tonight I was reminded of our house in England,
the little record player that always skipped.
Our dozen records seemed such a luxury, although
we had much more back home in Massachusetts.
I don’t want to pretend that we were poor.
You read Virginia Woolf and Thomas Hardy.
We argued badly and often about whether
or not to have a child, and when you cried
I talked until you stopped, with nothing settled
and nothing proven except that so many words
might bring us back to the way I thought
our lives should be. Twice it snowed.
Birds nested in the thatched roof. A woman
we never saw again brought us a Christmas tree
with the roots still on it. When we show
the photographs of that house to friends
it’s this we talk about—the deer in the woods,
the cow that got loose on the lawn. Remember
waiting once a week for the bus to market day?
Remember when the rented car broke down in Scotland?
How easily that year becomes this landscape
of favorite stories, revised out of habit until