Last year, I was having lunch with my friend and her mother at the Chestnut Tree in Denton. While we were there, she recounted a story from a recent wedding she had attended, where she had been perplexed by the relatively new tradition of "wedding sand."
"I tell you," she said, "I was wondering when the shovels and pails were going to come out. I tried not to laugh! I thought, are they going to make mud pies next?"
We laughed and joked for a while, then she said, "You know, wouldn't it be something if you had to separate your sand out if you wanted to get divorced? If you had to pick it all apart otherwise you couldn't split up?" The poem that appears in the most recent issue of Cold Mountain Review comes from a world where that is exactly what's required of the divorcing couple.
My husband and I were recently married in the fall of 2014, and when I showed this poem to my friends and colleagues, they were a bit taken aback: thinking about divorce already, eh? Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the poem allowed me to deeply meditate on the nature of intimacy and, ultimately, tentatively, hope.
Nevertheless, we skipped the sand at our nuptials.
Thank you again to the editors at CMR for giving "Instructions for Divorce" a home.