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When they marry, they make ..., a poem by Mary M. Brown

When they marry, they make

their own vows
and their own wedding cake
the cutest couple
a hyphenated name
a trip to Jamaica
a strict budget including
a hefty mortgage payment
a promise to each other never to fake it—
which they break—
two children
and one who doesn’t make it
a nice dinner every Wednesday—
steak and baked potatoes or crab cakes
a few martinis, gently shaken
a decision to relocate
mostly for the sake of the children
a valiant effort to educate them
a modest take in the stock market
readjustments along the way
and some healthy 401(k)s
arrangements for a parent’s wake
a quiet cabin at the lake
a mess or two—
but no grave mistake

                   by Mary M. Brown

Bio: Mary M. Brown lives and writes in Anderson, Indiana, a Hoosier not by birth but by long residence and disposition. She taught literature and creative writing at Indiana Wesleyan for many years. Her work appears on the Poetry Foundation and the American Life in Poetry websites and has been published recently in Christian Century, The Cresset, Quiddity, and Justice Journal.