Today’s poem is Unexpectedly, a Love Poem by Robin Merrill. Robin is a wife, homeschooling mother, writer, editor, and poet from Madison. Her poems have appeared in hundreds of publications, including Flint Hills Review, The Cafe Review, and Stolen Island Review, and three have been featured on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor.
She says “I was reading a book of poetry and this poem just came to me. I couldn’t write it down fast enough.”
Unexpectedly, a Love Poem
By Robin Merrill
It was supposed to be about baseball,
about the change-up he saw coming
and the resulting stand-up triple.
It was supposed to be about trophies,
like the lost one, the last one, out in the shed.
It was supposed to be about supper:
cheesy potatoes, maple syrup bread,
deer heart and fiddlehead casserole,
about the four miles my brother
tracked that wounded leaking heart
through the wind chill and noisy crust,
about the men who stood around
the pick-up bed, slapping my brother’s back
congratulating and irritating him
with smoke rings smelling of Michelob Light,
about the new George Strait CD
that carried the weary hunters home,
about the wives, wearier than their men,
women tired of orange laundry and stories,
who always listen one more time;
this time, one’s also a hunter’s mother,
and it was supposed to be about her pride.
It was never supposed to be a love poem.
It just was. They all are. If you give them time.
Poem copyright © 2017 Robin Merrill.
Reprinted from Almost Touching: New and Selected Poems,
New Creation Publishing, 2017,
by permission of Robin Merrill.