This morning I would like to introduce you to the poetry of Andrew Heffernan (if you are not already familiar). He is a dear friend and the husband of Heidi Rose Robbins, whose poetry I have also featured on the blog. I was in a writing class with Andrew and was continually blown away by the way he weaves together images. His poetry moves like the lens of a camera - a glorious wide angle, then suddenly zooming into the tiniest detail that takes your breath away, then back out - with a new understanding. In addition to being a creative writer, he is also a fitness writer, a speaker, a Feldenkrais practicioner, an actor (and a clown!), and a personal trainer. He is the one who kicks my a** (while making me laugh) in a boot camp class he teaches in Glendale each Saturday morning. Do join us! Find out more about Andrew (including more poetry) here: But in the meantime, take a deep breath, nestle in, and read this: 


We all walk in.
Without the slightest idea
Of what this will take.
An aisle.
Two families come in, one goes out.
Stillettos crush rose petals
The bride
Anointed, perfumed, adorned
A goddess, a gift.
We talk about God or we don’t.
We make vows.
We break a glass or we don’t
We toast.
She was wild.
He was lazy.
She was driven.
He was conservative.
She dated a convict.
He woke up drunk on someone’s yard.
We cut the cake.
We dance as generations watch,
Crocodile Rock and Brown Eyed Girl.
We lift the bride and groom on chairs.
We cross ourselves.
Throw flowers
Festoon the bedroom.
Whisper what was wrong.
Who was jealous.
Who was there
That she had slept with
Who was there
That he had a crush on.
​It should have been me.
It should have been her. 
Dad came.
Dad didn’t come.
Dad came drunk.
Dad brought his new girlfriend.
It’s her wedding day,
Couldn’t he just
For one single day.
And she handled it all so well.
She looked so beautiful.
Her sister looked miserable.
His mother looked tense.
The promise of that day.
The crown prince and princess.
Disappointing wedding sex..

Apartments, houses, jobs.
Money problems.
A leaky roof.
You work and make partner
You work but don’t make partner.
You never work, and never make partner. 
Your painting sells.
Your painting doesn’t sell.
You give it to your mother.
You get the job you wanted.
The woman you hate gets the job you wanted.
You get the part.
You don’t get the part.
The part goes to a name.
And hasty sex
And messy living room
And toys and kids
One boy one girl.
So fragile.
Like the glass.
Like your foot on the glass. 

And longing looks from coworkers
Wondering if you should, or might you,
If the time was just right or just wrong,
Could you live with yourself?
And what are the rules we’re dealing with here anyway?
I’m not supposed to have female friends?
I can’t text my friend who happens to be a guy?
We never dated, I never slept with him,
Maybe once a lifetime ago.
And you’re still thinking about him,
I married you, didn’t I?
And counseling.
I think we’re making progress here.
That’s all the time we have this session,
Why don’t we look at the calendar
And see when you can come in by yourself
And she can come in by herself
So we can work through these issues apart and together.

The bonds of marriage are blood.
Or tissue paper.
Or rusted iron.
Or silk cuffs,
And your home is a pleasure dome
Or a prison
Or a carnival ride.
Or a madhouse.
And maybe the kids need braces
And you talk to your son’s teacher
About behavioral problems
Or your daughter’s teacher about self-esteem issues
And are there problems at home?
At night you might cry together
Over how this isn’t what you planned
And maybe you won’t touch each other for weeks
And the space between you in bed becomes an abyss
And maybe you both start turning your attention to the kids
Because you think that looking in that face again might blind you. 

And you walk that aisle eyes wide shut,
Say no I won’t do this,
And yes I will do that, and
And maybe you have to get drunk beforehand
And make your vows into jokes
Then sign your name,
As if your name could save you 
As if the maelstrom of you
Could be contained in letters
Through all that
Even you knew what you were promising.
That no matter who we become and who we create,
I open all my doors to you
And I will say yes to you
And all your combustible wildness
And the endless
Shedding of skin after skin
Turning ourselves inside out over and over
Like the planet Venus
A new surface every million years
No cell of us surviving
And through all that I say
All that is what I say yes to
All that is what I vow to protect
All that is what I give this body to
This body that will fall to dust before us.

And when you finally dare to look in that face again,
It’s like cool summer rain
It’s a dam bursting
Over insatiable earth
And you’re crying beneath that rain,
Wet skin beneath each others’ hands.
And maybe your mother said
That married people are like oxen yoked together
But I say you and I are like
Fireflies dancing together on a summer’s night. 

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