Matthew Burns, bass-baritone
Mila Henry, piano
Twenty-five years of marriage,
Twenty-five years of strife.
Twenty-five years of dinners
In silence with my wife.
Another blank stare for me, dear?
As if I wasn’t here, dear.
Another strong drink for you, dear?
As if you won’t collapse, dear.
Another ten minutes of tea with me?
As you think hard how to flee.
Another week at the beach I agree
Best spent absentee.
Are you there, really there, really there,
wife? Are you ready, face the facts, the facts, wife?
A love fallen behind,
A home not intertwined—
Talk to me.
Please, talk to me.
Cry with me.
Please, cry with me.
Die with me.
You said you’d die with me.
But instead why don’t you lie with me. Let’s
make our twenty-five
And make a new vow
Of a life, yes,
Full of life, now.
Full of Life Now
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
FULL of life, now, compact, visible,
I, forty years old the Eighty-third Year of The States,
To one a century hence, or any number of centuries hence,
To you, yet unborn, these, seeking you.
When you read these, I, that was visible, am become invisible;
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me;
Fancying how happy you were, if I could be with you, and become your comrade;
Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now with you.)