Zipping out of our bedroom the other day, I glanced again at a framed poem on the wall. I wrote it years ago on an American Airlines flight from Dallas back to New York, and two Christian magazines picked it up. It spoke about the special place my wife held then, and still holds, in my life. Maybe it bears repeating here….


O Lord,

Thank you for

the someone who’s waiting

when I get home from this flight.

It’s been a long week on the road.

Lots of business

Lots of busyness

Plenty of interesting people

Bright men, bright and attractive women,

But not her.


There’s been plenty of room

to stretch out in the bed

And I didn’t even have to make

half an attempt to keep the hotel room

clean and picked up.

I could leave junk all over,

sox lying out

razor on the ledge

hair in the shower …

A housekeeper, faceless, would

pick up after me and go her way.

Yet the room held no pleasure.

It was too quiet.

Only an air conditioner hummed in the corner.

Nobody said, “I love you.”

Or “I want you.”

Or even “How was your day?”


Tonight all that will change.

I’ll be swarmed by happy kids

And a hyperactive dog

And a list of things to fix

(The plumbing always knows when I’m gone)

And familiar furniture and fun and food.

But most of all,

by the one with the shy smile and the soft skin

and the wide-set eyes that first

fascinated me 25 years ago.

By her.


The room tonight won’t be as large

And as I unpack,

I’ll have to put everything where it belongs—

And I don’t mind at all.

For this is more than my hotel.

This is more than my base of operations

Even more than my home.

This is the place of my union

My hideaway

My anchorage

My harbor.

Not just the walls and floors and ceilings;

they know nothing of what I’ll feel

in the embrace of the one

who is my earthly completion

my love

my very life.


For her, I give thanks, O God

And may the next business trip

Be a long time from now.


© Dean Merrill 1988