My Husband's Back
Sunday evening. Breakdown hour. Weeping into a pot of burnt rice. Sun dimmed like a light bulb gone out behind a gray lawn of snow. The baby flushed with the flu asleep on a pillow. The fire won't catch. The wet wood's caked with ice. Sitting on the couch my spine collides with all its bones and I watch my husband peer past the glass grate and blow. His back in a snug plaid shirt gray and white leaning into the woodstove is firm and compact like a young man's back. And the giant world which whirls in my head stopping most thought suddenly ceases to spin. It sits right there, the back I love, animal and gamine, leaning on one arm. I could crawl on it forever the one point in the world turns out I have travelled everywhere to get to. Susan Minot