Today Christian and I celebrate our sixth (summer) wedding anniversary. Our little family is setting off this morning by ferry to Lopez Island, the first stop on our five week summer island hopping adventure. I met him nine summers ago. This poem is about that day and the sculpture Wake by Richard Serra, which our daughter Georgia is running amongst above.
“Each module is identical and comprised of two S-sections, which are inverted in relationship to each other…What’s important is you moving between them, through them, and around them as they undulate; it’s your body moving in relation to their surface that moves.”
~ Richard Serra, Wake, 2004 Weathering Steel
I walked straight up to you
kept going on instinct
into your surprised arms
the first time I met you
here in the Olympic Sculpture Park
nine years ago.
We strolled in the late afternoon sun
affected more by each other than the art.
It was July, the kind of summer evening
we dream about in December.
Then I showed you Wake,
the Richard Serra
sculpture I loved,
five hulking and elegant ellipses,
such proudly rusting
A glass of champagne,
then on to dinner.
We inhaled each other,
yes yes yes.
You lived in Canada.
Merely a detail.
Since that day,
we’ve searched out Serra’s work
in the Toronto airport,
the Walker in Minneapolis,
Storm King in the Catskills,
an unexpected sighting
on Lopez Island.
I remember the wake
I’d criss-cross on a slalom ski
behind our little boat on Lake Okoboji,
the languorous wake of a Turkish gulet,
immense wake of an ice-breaker
beneath soaring Wandering Albatrosses.
I see what Serra was thinking, yes,
but the art itself murmured to me
Look at this man beside you.
Wake to your new life,