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A Thousand Minutes

A poem I wrote for my wife about the days leading up to our first date.
A Thousand Minutes

Preface: This poem is from a book of poetry I wrote for Haley and gifted to her for our first Christmas as a couple. The book contains 12 original poems—including Kiss You Boldly and Your Limbs the Sea—written specifically for her based on moments from the first six months of our relationship.


Before I knew the touch
of your sandpaper hands,
kissed your lips
or lost myself in your blue eyes,
I drove down roads I knew in other lives before you.

That warm July night
I crossed railroad tracks on the east side,
waiting to dial your number,
strangely knowing
I might one day love you.

Nine nights.
More than a thousand minutes
listening to your voice, so smooth and steady,
as it traveled four-hundred miles through the telephone;
months of waiting and wondering
who you were beneath stoic glances—
lips pursed, wary
like a mother bear protecting her cub—
all coalesced on that windy Saturday night.

I knew you then.
Heard you clocking out from night patrols,
opening the gates to your vulnerable places,
removing the chains
for a man you barely knew,
sitting locked out on a porch,
your voice a spell
as he closed the door behind him.

Maybe it was a sign:
listening to you speak late at night
from a beach house in South Carolina,
closing every door behind us
until it was just you and I,
as it would be outside my silver Honda Civic,
Taylor Swift the soundtrack to our first night together,
your voice still ringing in my ears as I drove fifteen minutes home,
waiting for electricity to bring us back together
as it had every night before.

Want help writing a poem or letter for the person you love? Reach out to me: briancanever (at) gmail (dot) com.