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Couple Cement

It’s not a modern invention

been around since Ug dragged Wa

into a cave, a bearskin-dropping hug

that lasted forty summers, forty winters


It’s the mortar pyramids are bonded with

holding deep in their wombs

secrets of Pharaohs and their wives

quizzical chambers pointing to stars

that kept them together

on earth as they are in heaven


Today, they’re still holding on

these stone-faced couples

forged at times from substances

alchemists claimed uncojoinable


You find them everywhere

at parents meetings, in church pews

withstanding forces that endeavour

to split apart, seek other liasons


Later chapters find them still there

true to their beliefs, their vows

standing together yet alone

back-to-back in knotted harness

and while they seldom speak of it they

mouth differing explanations, quote

conflicting sources, seem to sigh

as they hoist their shackles, stumble

off, two steps forward, one rearward

back to their cave, their sphinx-like pose


How do you say in caveman tongue

here lie the bones of Ug and Wa

cemented for all time in discomfort

how do you write in hieroglyphics

— for the sake of the children?

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© Johnmichael Simon



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