To My Wife At 69

To My Wife At 69


To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our wakingtime
And the rhythm that governs the
repose of our sleepingtime,
the breathing in unison.
Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without
need of speech,
And babble the same speech without
need of meaning…
No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is
ours and ours only
But this dedication is for others to read:
These are private words addressed to
you in public) – T.S. Elliot

The discovery of your infidelity from your diary wasn’t what I was expecting this morning as I sneaked into your bedroom to drop off a birthday card; especially, not at this time!
The diary entries broke my heart but were revealing enough to show the distance I have created in-between us due to my carelessness (indignantly aside: I’m sorry). I actually thought…and I still thought up to the point of the discovery…that you will understand even when I showed less than I cared. I guess I was wrong the whole time!
Having lived together for fourty intriguing years, I would not be deceiving myself if I were to say that I loved you and I still do in spite of the discovery.
What is most shocking to me are three striking entries you made on three consecutive days, “Maybe he never loved me…”, “Maybe I lost my charm after our first child” and “Maybe the fact that I’m aging is really a turn-off.” Those entries were made so many years ago, barely 10 years after our wedding, and at dusk of days I had felt like a new bridegroom being remarried to you. I have always loved you and I took it for granted that you have always known.
The fourth day afterwards, your entry took on a new tone (though happy for you) but I was moved to tears. It felt like I was reading one of those popular Mills and Boons romance novels. You wrote of how you had set out prepared…really prepared with the full complementarity of attractive make-up and catch-me-if-you-can dress to make calculated advances at men and gauge their reactions towards you. Sometimes, we reduce ourselves to everyday trivia that though annoying is quite justifiable. Then, the entry sounded both happy and confused at the same time. Happy that even before you made your planned advances, men complimented your beauty…your radiance. It was a sword through my heart! At this point, I must say I was gritting my teeth in disappointment with myself for not having expressed as simply as I should how much your charm have always held me under her spell.
Those men, if I have to let you know – maybe out of jealousy though, must be men who treated their wives back home almost similar to the way I did you. Casual! Taken-for-granted, as-a-matter-of-factly and not as-a-matter-of-emotionally! Brisk! Hello-Hi!
For your information, I have myself consistently refrained from being carried away by the attractiveness of other men’s wives (I know what it takes to keep them up). I usually rationalized that I shouldn’t be an opportunist who will pull out his dagger to cut chunks off a dead buffalo without knowing what efforts had been put into hunting the animal down. It is only disheartening that the buffalos didn’t care themselves about who hunted them and who ate their meats!
I have come to a realization, as much as I should let you in on it, that it is one thing to appreciate in a fleeting way a woman we have never touched or smelt the pleasant odour of her gender and it is another to be married to a beautiful and adorable spinster, who shortly thereafter would become a mother, a woman to care for and whose shortcomings and weaknesses you have to put up with; to love ‘in spite’ of the odds and uhm…well…to die with according to your sworn oath.
I wish you don’t mind those men…but that’s late now! Whatever it was that transpired between you and your men should be kept a secret between us! That’s what love does! It overlooks….
Wife, you are sixty-nine! You are of age but with me, age is a number. You remain that young lady I married as long as I remain youthful at heart. I wink! You still appeal to me as much as you did that first day we met and both of us acted awkwardly, spilling drink on our dress. Your voice still says a thousand words even when it comes with your silent sobs even though I ignored it. Your touch has not ceased to send a spark of currents, faster than the speed of light and almost unnoticed like the piercing voice of rats, down my spine even if I pretend to sleep. Your tears have and will never stop bringing my world to a ‘standstill’ where my past and my future thaw into the present, pushing open my mouth to ask, “What is it, dear?” I’m sure you always noticed that look of concern and love that I wore whenever I asked that question….
And you thoughts, they will never…never…ever…not for one second…leave my heart even as I pace through my life like a busy executive that I was never born to be.
On this occasion, I just want you to know that
You make me who I am
You are the dot that fills the landscape of my existence
With your thoughts, my days start and end
From you, my essence I derive
You are my life
You are all I got (I wink again)
I love you, even as you age seventy tomorrow!
Happy Married Life!

(Dedicated to Seye Abimbola and bride (SeyeOnie2011) as you both get coupled a day after 11/11/11.
Isn’t it significant to have two 1s coming together three times for emphasis?
Onie, Seye is an egg!
Seye, Onie has become an egg!
HML, two eggheads!


by ‘Lakunle Jaiyesimi

14 thoughts on “To My Wife At 69” by Lakunle (@lakunle)

  1. “fourty” forty.

    Em…okay. I kinda just breezed thru it. The first few paragraphs got me; and then –

    Besides, I really think the TS Elliot intro was distracting at best.


  2. Ehmmm, this is quite lovely and touching.
    But the dedication bit kinda dampened it.

  3. Lots of typos that would’ve been caught by a careful re-read. But I liked the dedication and the sentiment of the opening and ending pieces. All the best to your friends on their marriage.

  4. Its a beautiful piece but it reads like a first draft.

  5. Like the message therein. Didn’t sound so poetic, but you tried.

  6. I like T. S Elliot and this piece of yours, I like it a lot!
    Attention should be paid to the typos and words above.

  7. @Seun, Oscar and Myne, I’ll take note. Thanks a bunch! @Kaycee, thanks for pointing out your observations all….

  8. @chemo, it is actually a first draft!
    @eletrika, do you prefer poetic lines?

  9. Hey! I know Seye Abimbola…my husband’s colleague from Residency.
    Good one for their wedding that is just past…

  10. typos and all… just as you said “love overlooks…” it could be overlooked for it is surely a very touching piece of work.

  11. @chetachi, wow. We were school pallies…have always been.
    @Joy1, so touching. Thanks for taking my side. Actually, if I were to see from the perspective of a lover, words have to be imperfect to make perfect. But in the literature world, I would not care.
    Thanks for that angle…love…

  12. Err….blew hot n cold for me…Nice going anyway. Good luck to them both.

  13. Lakunle, I liked the way you showed us the wife’s view of her husband through the diaries, but for me, the story would have been more interesting if you had shown more of how the wife travelled through her journey of infidelity to realise that she wanted to remain with her husband. As things stood, it felt unresolved… what made the wife end her affairs? Maybe because she realised she really did love her husband? Maybe because the husband began to pay her more attention? That would have strengthened the theme of love that ran through the story.

  14. Nice apart from the typos, the first few lines were what got me

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