Do You Remember?

For Justine

Do you remember
When we went camping
With Smokey and the Bandit,
Johnny and June,
And that cat
That came with the cabin?

It was almost your birthday.
You were wearing my dog tags
And a smile
That just wouldn’t quit.

There was something
In the way you smiled
That calmed
A turbulent soul
And promised salvation
From the night.

Do you remember
That November trip
To the coast,
Tristyn running
And laughing on the beach,
Santa Clause,
And our first
Family portrait?

Do you remember
Arlo and Alice’s Restaurant,
How his song
About the soldiers
Made you cry?

Do you remember
The night before
Our wedding
When I got so drunk
That Tony had to
Carry me home
While you
Staid with your sisters
At the hotel
Because the Groom
Can’t see the Bride
Before she walks
Down the aisle?

Do you remember
Our wedding day
By the pond
Where we fished
So often?

I was so nervous
Your father
Had to teach me
How to breathe again.

He walked you
Down the aisle,
Your arm in his,
His hand grasping
A walking stick.

I don’t remember
Ever seeing
A more radiant bride,
Grin glowing like
A thousand supernovas
Against a dozen
Velvet black holes.

There was something
In the way you moved
In that snow-white dress
With the rose-red embroidery,
I knew I would never
Need another,
And we’d never again
Be alone.