Today is my husband’s birthday. He’s very like the husband in this poem by Pauletta Hansel (though my father is not much like the father). When we were dating in college, my husband typed up and gave me a poem he felt applied to our relationship. I still have that poem, and it still applies. Wishing you a happy birthday, LJ!
My mother likes a man who works. She likes
my husband’s muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.
She loved my father, though when weekends came
he’d sleep till nine and would not lift
his eyes up from the page to move the feet
she’d vacuum under. On Saturdays my husband
digs the holes for her new roses,
softening the clay with peat and compost.
He changes bulbs she can no longer reach
and understands the inside of her toaster.
My father’s feet would carry him from chair
to bookshelf, back again till Monday came.
My mother likes to tell my husband
sit down in this chair and put your feet up.