My Guiding Light

Do you (really) know
how much you’re loved
and appreciated by me?

Maybe I’ve forgotten
to remind you
with enough frequency

So much around us
is breaking, crumbling, struggling,
but with you, everything is right

Everything you do is right

You make it look easy
to shoulder
tremendous responsibility

You carry it with swirl
and swagger, under pressure,
as if you were simply sailing

I don’t know when this storm will end,
but I know you’re more than my keel–
you are my guiding light

Everything you do is right

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

This man wanted a poem that conveyed the deep love and appreciation he had for his family, and especially his wife. “They are my heart and soul, and my number one priority,” he began. He and his wife had been married for almost eighteen years, and had two children who were eleven and fourteen. Their lives were busy and extra chaotic in the time of COVID-19. Both were physicians working in leadership positions at the same academic institution. “Our house shoulders a lot of responsibility,” he said. “I want to make sure my wife knows that amidst this time when everything else is breaking down and hurting, she can do no wrong in my eyes. We joke that every sailboat needs its keel, and she really is that, and more, for me–especially now. I probably haven’t told her enough lately, all the things she does right. She does everything right! I never want her to doubt that, or forget how much I love her.”

Interviewee: Anonymous, Physician
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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