“Why I Like Marriage” by George Ovitt

George Ovitt


At breakfast I tell my wife
To bury me in my new suit.
“The gray one?” she asks,
“Yes, with the pinstripes,”
“Fine,” and she sips her tea.

This is what I like about marriage—
The not-being-surprised part of it,
As in how I can decide on my
Funeral attire, then read aloud
A Times review of a restaurant
In Paris that we will never visit,
And a moment later suggest a
Walk in the snow—why not?

By lunchtime I will have decided
Against the gray suit and burial
Altogether, having seen a billboard
For cremations—$850, complete;
“On second thought,” I begin,
And my wife will nod, and sip her tea,
And say, “I know,” and mean it.

from Rattle #43, Spring 2014
Tribute to Love Poems


George Ovitt: “The immediate inspiration for ‘Why I Like Marriage’—aside, of course, from my wife—is a billboard for the American Cremation Society that I bike past on my way to work each morning. I liked the line ‘$850, Complete!’ so well that I knew I had to get it into a poem. I write poetry so I can put the bits and pieces of my odd-ball perceptions in some kind of order at the end of each day. My notebooks are full of such scraps, some of which, through a process I don’t understand, join other scraps of my attention to make a poem.” (web)

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