Saturday, February 15, 2020

Love & Volleyball

Sadly, Russia is the main reader of my blog this weekend. I'm pretty sure that means bots, trolls, attempted election tampering coming up. Because why else would Russia be interested in my poetry/what I am reading blog? I am now reading Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver. So I'm feeling a little unsheltered, thanks to empathy (and Russia). On p. 12 I found this: "Marriages tend to harden like arteries, and she and Iano were more than thirty years into this one. This evening he would come in the door like a blast of warm weather, give her a kiss in the kitchen before changing out of his office clothes, and they'd have no chance to talk before dinner."

It's Valentine's weekend. My husband and I have been married "more than thirty years" (although we tend to forget our anniversary). Yesterday, actual Valentine's Day, he came through the garage-to-kitchen door with a blast of cold weather, gave me a kiss and a volleyball summary, and went to change out of his coach clothes before our lack of dinner, as he had eaten in the coaches' hospitality room, and I had eaten a late lunch after visiting the endodontist, who took a picture of my successful root canal of a year ago. This is our life.

Today, I went to see part of the intercity volleyball tournament--a fantastic setter, both excellent and lackluster playing, a loss by my husband's team. Before his girls played, we watched a couple matches side by side--his team asking, "Coach, who's this?" "Wife," we both replied. (They don't know I'm in the stands for their home games.) When it was time to get ready he reached into his bag for his roster and pulled out my chapbook Spiritual Midwifery. (The cover is based on one of his paintings.)

"Your second poem always makes me cry," he said. The title poem, it's about a baby who died before it's about a baby who lived. "The last time, I couldn't make it past that poem."

"You carry my book in your volleyball bag?"

"Something to read," he said. We both teared up a little in the stands, the ref blowing her whistle. This is our life.