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The Secret of My Parent’s Marriage

by Yvonne Higgins Leach

I learned late in life that my parents
stopped mapping each other’s bodies,
gave up on the luxury of making heat,
forgot how to anoint the other in breath.

I learned that after careers,
mortgages, six children and worry
they prayed to save their marriage
from collapse. And they did somehow.

Call it a replanting. A resurrection.
Call it putting the past
on the other side of a dim-lit tunnel.
Call it a secret only they knew.

They carried water together
to the end and when the music
of their hourglass lives stopped
the heavens opened and reset for them.




Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of Another Autumn (WordTech Editions, 2014). Her poems have appeared in South Dakota Review, South Carolina Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, and Wisconsin Review, among others. She earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Washington University in 1986. She has spent decades balancing a career in communications and public relations, raising a family, and pursuing her love of writing poetry. She splits her time living in Snohomish and Spokane, Washington. For more information, visit