by Cathryn Cofell
She tells me to pick up golf, as if telling me to pick up milk
on the way home or a song where she left off. She says
the competitor in me will thrill when the club connects to the ball
like a bone to the socket and the rocket takes off, soars into blue
like a great blue heron and lands exactly where it should land,
for one second only me and that ball and I have kicked its ass.
I remind her of the last time in my car, how I almost
killed us juggling the stick, phone, latte and a need
to speak often with my hands, question why she
believes I could manage that multitude of in-sync
movements. Those tiny balls. Standing still. Silence.
She appeals to my heart, the brisk walks and the heft of a bag
that never feels heavy on a good day, the immaculate beauty
of the green, how on a clear Sunday with the sun cresting
and the last dew steaming she can almost see god.
I tell her that’s what churches or children are for,
and cost about the same, and that simply banging
my head against a wall would burn 150 calories
an hour which I already do on a frequent basis.
She cajoles the career woman in me, insists golf will make me a champ
in the game of schmooze, adds there is no other sport worthy of my
intelligence, my fashion sense, my utter determination to accomplish
the manliest of deeds.
She knows I would wrestle mud eels if a man suggested
it wasn’t my place, but I am over 40, should be beyond that.
I say honey, I am a poet first (well, 3rd or 4th after the son
and husband and 60 hour job and the chores). Maybe
if there were a short course, or if I could write and dust
at the same time. Better yet, she should pick up poetry,
fill her holes with words.
This is where it always ends. Poetry scares the hell out of people,
even more than golf. This is where it always begins, friends wanting
each other to be each other, to become someone we’re not because
isn’t that what women do, fill our lives with purpose after purpose
with no passion, smile and nod, say yes when we really mean no?
~ first published in Main Street Rag