To his mother ~ an epistolary poem

It was Margaret’s poem in my inbox that ignited my spark to receive poem today. She nudged me over to Ruth’s lovely page, who is hosting Poetry Friday today and inviting us to give a go at a recipe poem.

Ellen Bass, my poet guide this month, along with Wendell Barry, has been also offering advice this month. The Epistolary Poem, a poem written as a letter, a form has been shaping poems in my notebook this month.

Could I combine the two? The recipe poem and the letter poem?

Perhaps . . .

Thank you to Margaret, Ruth, Ellen, my husband’s adoration of the food I cook for him and, his mother’s love.

If you’d like to read more poems, or add your own, head over to Ruth’s page to read a few more recipe poems. Be sure to fill your cup of coffee first.

Cribbage: A Relationship Builder? SOL #2~2020

I’ve never liked playing cards. When I was young, my father would urge us kids to play cards, trying to convince us that learning how to play cards was a non-negotiable skill that all human beings should be adept at. I’m not sure if my four siblings recall this same experience, although, I think they probably played cards and liked it. Perhaps I was the black sheep of card playing. I’ll have to ask them.

My husband is a card player. He taught our four children how to play cards when they were very young. I resisted joining in, letting this be his territory. I stuck to Candyland. Now, our children are all adults and when at family gatherings,  the night often ends with a game of Hearts and cocktails. There is laughter, joking, lots of snacks, shouting and cheering in these card matches. I sit on the sidelines, taking notes, or I sneak off to bed.

In our mid-fifties, my husband and I are now empty nesters. The winter evenings are long.

“You should learn how to play Cribbage, hon,” my husband urges me one late winter afternoon, as we were both reading by the fireplace. “I’ll teach you. It would be fun for us to play Cribbage games in the evening.”

“But, I don’t like cards,” I reminded him. “I just don’t.”

“But, Cribbage isn’t a card game, it’s a relationship builder,” he tries to convince me. “Please, it will be fun.”

I felt a wee bit sorry for him for several reasons. First, because he has to adapt to a wife who does not play games. Competitiveness was a gene that I was missing. Second, because he has no one else to play with. Except Ella. But, she only likes dog games.

After much banter, I sighed and said, “Okay.”

He jumped up from his chair in triumph. “We’ll have to go to Fleet and buy a new Cribbage board,” he says, “I know just the one.”

“Don’t we already have a Cribbage board?” I asked.

“Oh, this one is going to be special. We need one to commemorate the beginning of this new journey in our relationship.”

“How much is it going to cost?” I asked.

“It’s 40.00, but I have a 20.00 coupon. C’mon, let’s go.”

Off we drove to Fleet Farm to pick out a Cribbage board. Already, I was regretting my decision. This felt like too much of a commitment. What if I seriously did not like this game? Then there will be a new unused Cribbage board to remind me that I quit. What will it do to the relationship if he feels so strongly about it being a relationship builder?

We brought it home, chose a location in the house for it to hang (alongside the fireplace), wrote the date on the back with a permanent black marker and signed our names. It felt big. . . like we got married again.

“Tomorrow we’ll play game number one,” he announced.

For the love of Pete. What have I done?

I’m participating in twowritingteachers March 2020 Slice of Life Challenge of writing a blog post every day for the month of March. 🙂 To read the posts of other Slicers, please go here.


A Cabin Story (A Cold Morning)


He slept in this morning.  Way past a hunter’s hours.  Neither of us could force ourselves out of bed.  One slip of my arm outside the quilts tells me why.  It was cold.

A weekend getaway at a primitive cabin in late October sounded blissful.  My husband could hunt and I could write.  What we didn’t expect was the cold.

“The fire must have died out,” I said.

“Probly,” he replies.

“I heard you get up last night.  Didn’t you add a few logs?”

“I can’t remember.”

He didn’t.  I know.  I heard him go outside to the bathroom.  He talked to Sandy (our lab) and then came back to bed.  I don’t know what he was thinking.

“I don’t think you did,” I remind him.

“I guess I didn’t.”  He goes back to sleep.

I lie in bed awake for about an hour.  I’m not so sure I can start a fire in the stove.  Besides, I’d freeze out there.  What would I do without heat?

I could make coffee maybe.  That might coax him to get up and then he could make a fire.  I crawl out of bed.  Looking for my insulated pants, long sleeve shirt, hooded sweatshirt, wool socks and slippers, I hear him mumble something.

“You should put your clothes on under the covers,” I hear him say faintly.


“So they warm up.”

I look at him and shake my head.

“That’s what I do.”  He rolls over and goes back to sleep.

For Pete’s Sake.

Coffee it is.

The coffee maker is an old 1960’s plug in percolater pot.  No filters needed.  It makes dang good coffee.  And it’s loud.  Each percolation is a pop-gun.  I wrap myself in two blankets, put on my cap and mittens, grab my book and wait on the couch.

Finally. . . hook, line and sinker.

“You makin coffee?” he creeps out of the bedroom.


“Geezzzz, it’s cold out here!” he notices.


He starts to make a fire.

I smile.