582: Marrying the Wind

582: Marrying the Wind

582: Marrying the Wind


I’m Ada Limón and this is The Slowdown.

In 8th grade in Mr. Larimore’s class, we had 20 minutes of quiet reading after lunch every day. We could read any book we wanted and the one I remember most during those sessions was Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine. It was so utterly disturbing and imaginative. I couldn’t put it down. It terrified and delighted me.

In one story, a man had somehow upset the wind, upset the wind itself. And so one day, the wind came around to kill him. No one believed him, but low and behold, the wind came right up to the front door ready to kill him. And the whole story is how you can’t stop the wind. It’s determined and fierce, it’s also…well…the wind.

I loved that story because I love personifying things like the weather, the elements, making something that already seemed to have a life of its own come to life in a more human way. I still think of that story now whenever the wind picks up or I can hear the train whistle and the wind roaring at the same time so that it seems like the train is riding the wind or the wind is riding the train. But together they are unstoppable.

In today’s poem we see what it might be like to be in a relationship with one of the four elements: wind.

Marrying the Wind
by Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

I proposed to the wind and the wind said yes
but now we are encountering extreme difficulties

putting together our wedding registry.
The wind wants feathers, dust bunnies,

confetti. It has no interest in candelabras. The wind
wants only things that can be carried

on its soft voice. I want all the seasons
of Breaking Bad. The wind cannot appreciate

Walter White, but it may like to carry away a cloud
of smoke. I am unsure if my love can be held

in the wind’s arms. Nothing is softer than the wind’s arms—
it loves to hold hands with my hair. But I want to fight

about this espresso machine the wind doesn’t want.
The wind cannot pick up the registry scanner

so I am forced to do all the booping.
Cornmeal boop. Flour boop. Wood shavings boop.

I buy a Diet Coke and the wind takes the receipt.
I scream into the wind and the wind screams back. 

"Marrying the Wind" by Brett Elizabeth Jenkins. Used by permission of the poet. Originally published in Copper Nickel.