That Tooth by Juliet Moore

She first saw him when
they were in elementary school,
a scrawny boy with freckles
and torn pants
and skinned elbows
and she decided that
she liked his slightly crooked tooth
which she hardly ever saw
because he was always
scowling at airplanes in the sky
or bent over a creek
trying to catch a croaking frog
or riding a bicycle past her
popping wheelies and gum
at the same time.

She forgot about him in middle school
because she was
hanging out with her friends
getting her period
discovering she liked algebra
and trying out for the band
which was silly
because at best she played
the flute only marginally well
and never really practiced
like she should.

One day in high school,
she noticed this boy
a more grown up boy
with freckles
and rough sneakers
and sunburned ears
and the slightest dusting of a 
barely-there mustache
on his upper lip
and she remembered
that years ago
she had liked
his slightly crooked tooth.

A few years later
they married on a
hot and humid
blue sky day
next to a lake where,
standing there in their
formal finery,
she saw his eyes sparkle
when a frog croaked nearby
and she thought for a second
he might just
roll his pants
up and go after it.

On their 50th anniversary
they walked hand in hand
around that same lake
each bearing gray-tinged hair
and not-so-good knees
and memory upon memory
of family and grandkids and
rough times that ultimately
made them stronger.

And when he smiled
she saw that slightly crooked tooth
and decided she wouldn’t change a thing.