the birdhouse

There is a birdhouse
in a garden
in front of a cottage
that I walk past most every day.

“Happy Anniversary
My Love, Always”
with a butterfly burned
into the wooden panels.

And every day I wonder
how long they’ve been
in love with each other
and whether they still are.

Today I saw the woman
(Her name is Althea.
I know this because
it’s on the birdhouse.)

She looked happy there
in that garden with that birdhouse
and the length of the love
no longer mattered

What mattered instead
was that one fine year
he had loved her enough
to make her that birdhouse

And I suppose I had the
pedestrian thought that,
in spite of everything,
I still hope for a birdhouse.

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