This poem first came to my attention via one of my Brides who enjoyed Adam Ford’s writing as a teenager but had sadly lost her copy of his book. When her boyfriend learned of this at the beginning of their relationship, he not only managed to track down a copy (even though it was out of print), but also had it signed by the author. You probably guessed that this couple ended up getting married and so this piece was an obvious choice as a reading for their ceremony. This reading would not be for everyone, but is a perfect example of choosing something that has personal meaning – a story – rather than choosing something random for the sake of it.
by Adam Ford
If I could place myself upon the page,
could trap myself in words and write them down
and stuff them in a padded envelope,
I’d mail myself to you piece by piece.
My DNA laid out in black and white,
my recipe, my blueprints, a DIY
assembly kit with step-by-step instructions.
A map. A graph. A chart. A model of me.
The tale of how I learned to ride a bike,
equations that express the curve along my spine,
the address of every house that’s been my home,
the names of boys who bullied me at school,
The smell my hands pick up whenever I cook,
a description of my voice when on the phone,
the way I felt the first time that we kissed,
the meanings of three Russian words I know.
I’d send it all to you marked “handle with care”
and you could pack it all away somewhere.
A box perhaps, a drawer in your desk,
a secret place that only you can find.
I see you by your mailbox every day,
waiting to greet the mailman when he comes,
opening the package to see what’s tucked inside.
This time: my middle name and fingerprints.
And when you’d collected every single piece,
you’d put them all in place like mosaic tiles
and a picture would appear – a picture of me-
and step out of the frame to be with you.