He enters the kitchen,
his skin glistens and
the pungent smell of movement
pushed against the early morning greets me.
I am happy to see him.
He pulls me against his sweaty clothes,
so I fuss as he tightens his embrace –
a thoroughly pleasant ritual.
He gives me our subdivision’s farm report.
“I saw six Harvey* Juniors,
three squished toads
and one lizard entering our garage.”
I pat the stomach of my walking Buda
before he moves toward the shower.
Grand gestures inside a marriage are less
about flowers and candy than acknowledgement
as bare feet stand against worn walking shoes
on kitchen tile on an ordinary day.
Great men need not lead a charge or
command a Fortune Five-Hundred business.
Great men are aware,
count Harveys, toads and lizards,
recognize all joy is in the present.
*Harvey: the fictional rabbit friend of Jimmy Stewart in the movie Harvey.
I just walked through the living room to the background noise of a basketball game. Beside my reclining husband on the table I drenched in polyurethane to accommodate his known, bachelor-days habits were a half dozen spoons used for sugar free puddings and yogurt.
“Collecting spoons?” I asked. “Everyone needs a hobby.”
I took my glass to the kitchen, rinsed it and left it in the sink. I should have retrieved his spoons. In the existential, I made a conscious decision not to be a type-A freak and I let it go.
Bob gave me his I-may-not-put-my-spoons-in-the-sink-but-you-DO-love-me-just-as-I-am smile. When I neared his chair, he reached out and took my hand in passing. “Your hands are cold.”
Always with the cliché, I responded, “Cold hands, warm heart.”
Bob said, “I thought that was cold nose, warm heart.” He loves dogs, so I guess that works, too.
Now in my office, I feel happy. The ordinary days of our lives are so rich.