David James

Marriage is What Brings Us Together: David James


“In the middle ages, guests stacked spiced buns in front of the bride
for luck.” from The Book of Amazing Curiosities

And the couple had to kiss
over the pile
to insure the good luck would come.
The taller the pile, the more bliss
they would find.
It wasn’t love, desire, compatibility, hairstyle
or money that brought happiness:
it was baked goods stacked between a man and a woman.
Before this tradition, the Romans tell
of theirs—a barley loaf broken over the head
of the wife. Today, a couple cuts into a fresh
baked cake with icing, often feeding each
other or stuffing a piece in their faces and kissing.
All marriages are hard and need more, not less,
luck, grace and love through time.
In one day, my wife and I reach
forty-years together, tied and bound
for better, not worse, for richer, thank God,
than when we started. But no one teaches
you how to make it work. Once wed,
you’re thrown into the woods where tigers surround
you and close in. What’s good for one couple
spells disaster to another.
You have to claw your way to higher ground,
exchange hearts and bow before your own makeshift shrine.

David James has published seven books, six chapbooks and has had more than thirty one-act plays produced in the U.S. and Ireland.