Ann Keiffer

Once Upon Our Time

for Larry

I find when I tell the story, I always tell it the same…

how, some months after I broke up with you in our college years, we saw each other again “across a crowded room” at your sister’s wedding…

I always say “across a crowded room.”

And I say when our eyes met, I suddenly knew you were “the one”…

how we talked, but afterwards, still wounded from the break-up, you didn’t call me…

how I asked my father if he told you to play hard-to-get, and he said, no, but he thought it was a good idea…

how since I knew you were “the one,” I called you and we fell in love again, only better..

and how, not long after, I invited you to marry me the next summer.

That’s the way it happened. That’s the way I tell the story.

So last night when the choir rehearsed Some Enchanted Evening for the first time,

and I sang the words “across a crowded room,” the story of our lives’ beginning to plait together overtook me.

And all in a tumble all of the stories of our individual-and-together lives filled me up, so alive, so real and present.

And I suddenly thought, After you and I are gone, there will be no one who remembers our moments, no one who knows or tells our stories. Our stories are what we write just for ourselves, our fleeting lore and treasure.

I imagined you across a crowded room, my bald-headed, aging, prince of a man. You’re still “the one.” It’s just us. Nobody but us. May we never stop making our moments and telling our stories until each of us comes to the end.

Ann Keiffer/January, 2015

Image: Photo of “altered book”
created by
artist Su Boyd


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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