For steadfast flame wood must be seasoned,
And if love can be trusted to last out,
Then it must first be disciplined and seasoned
To take all weathers, absences, and doubt.
No resinous pine for this, but the hard oak
Slow to catch fire, would see us through a year.
We learned to temper words before we spoke,
To force the Furies back, learned to forbear,
In silence to wait out erratic storm,
And bury tumult when we were apart.
The fires were banked to keep a winter warm
With heart of oak instead of resinous heart,
And in this testing year beyond desire,
Began to move toward durable fire.