What constitutes a love poem? What makes a good marriage? How can one explain fifty years of amiable, loving, committed companionship that carries no caveats and no regrets? How can one enumerate, let alone explain, the legion shapes and shades and manifestations by which love reveals itself?
These poems in An Angel of the First Degree are all, significantly, love poems. Many of the poems are incidental in that they were written in the busyness of life, the way many things appear in the busyness of life. Some began as a way to describe the joys of everyday togetherness. Some of the poems are humble; such are the Valentine's Day poems. Some of the poems, the wedding poems, are grand, written in celebration and commemoration. These poems would not express honest aspirations for marriage had they not been grounded in my own experience, in my own marriage to the woman who is the subject, object, and primary reader of these poems. Thus, all these poems must be read as love poems for my lifelong friend and companion, mother of my children, my guardian angel, love of my life.