WILLA v6 - The Woman on Her Second Honeymoon in Key West

Volume 6
Fall 1997

The Woman on Her Second Honeymoon in Key West

Donna Decker

Can we ever say anything and mean it? Can


be a science, a law? I've promised twice in my life

to love and honor my husband. All I know is

that the sheen

is off my marriage, much like this town that

has changed

in twenty-five years, grown bigger than itself--

too much fat, its edges lost in soft gluttony

which makes the body numb to the soul's constancy.

Yet I love them both; him in a subdued way;

this island

with the charms of memory, an old model for

the current lens.

Once the realization that Paradise is only one of

a number of

extremes, like love, when we find our beloved is

as grand and poor

as anything else, we fall as far and hard out of it

as when

we fell in. My life is now charged with finding

its dailiness.

I know that what's beyond happiness and despair

is not neutral. Joy is letting the pure boat

of desire and pain take you clean across.

I haven't walked these streets in years,

Yet I see indentations of the apparitions I've long


The giant Banyan across from the court-house;

the rooftop sixth

floor of La Concha still the highest spot

where we once stood

before sunset and possibility. I was ready to

give my hand to my

husband and walk through the town which flips a

switch at darkness

and becomes the other side of what I'd known.

Like my older face.

Is it more mine with its flap of skin under the

chin and these odd

wrinkles, or someone else's image [rendering] of what

it should be?

Donna Decker has authored the forthcoming "Under the Influence of Paradise, " a series of dramatic monologues about a fictional Key West. She created the choreopoem "Dear Riz" and is coeditor of "North of Wakulla: An Anthology of Tallahassee Poets. " She teaches English at the University of Wisconsin/Stevens Point.


© 1997 The Women in Literature and Life Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (ISSN #1065-9080). Permission is given to copy any article provided credit is given and the copies are not intended for resale.

Reference Citation: Decker, Donna. (1997). "The Woman on Her Second Honeymoon in Key West." WILLA, Volume VI, p. 18.

by Radiya Rashid