I receive The Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor each day in my email in box. More times than I wish to admit I feel like I don't have time for it and hit delete before reading. Perhaps I should hit the link and listen to it as I do something else.
Whenever I do read it, I am very glad that I did, as I was today. The poem below is by Maxine Kumin and I love how it captures the scene of the poem. It's one that folks who are married or been in a committed relationship, which is most people, will identify with. The pessimist in one corner and the optimist in the other. Two bantam weights sparing every so often over their interpretation of the meaning and direction of some small event, such as the baseball game.
They can win it versus no, they don't have it tonight.
Another quick point before the poem, I read a poem to Anne-Mone, my wife, and she said the most interesting thing. She liked pieces of it, but there wasn't enough to describe or connect her to the setting and scene, not enough sensory details and personal clues to connect her to the poem. I'd never really thought of poems in these terms, which feels silly to say because these are important aspects of all writing.
And now... The Poem
by Maxine Kumin
Oh, what a weak sticker, you groan, as the batter pops
out to the infield. We’re propped
up in two beds-mine’s electric, with crib
sides, rented to ease eleven broken ribs -
watching the Red Sox, who are in the cellar
and dozing between Demerol and errors.
You yawn, the resident optimist
no family should lack, always stitching
a selvedge along the silver lining
-the luck of my unbroken pelvis-
so that when in a bizarre twist
they tie it up in the bottom of the ninth
you crow, they’re still alive and kicking!
We rouse as for the crisis of an old friend
and watch through extra innings to the end.