I was nice to my husband that day,
trying to be what seemed so easy for women
on black and white and Pinterest.
I listened to my medication, then organized my head.
Cleaned the car. Folded laundry. Scrubbed
the bathtub with bleach until my fingers grew angry
red from purification. Went to Rouses and actually
bought the stuff he liked (and needed). Then placed
the keys on a hook instead of the fridge (again).
…Then the sharp edge of an open cabinet
door dug deep into my scalp as I turned
around and realized I was clumsy and he had a point.
The top of my head turned blood cold
as I proved my tolerance.
But embarrassment lasts longer than pain.
I wouldn’t have had to tell you (or him) this incident,
but a headache stretched into its third day.
I tried to be casual: Just “I bumped
my head in the kitchen on Sunday. ”
He wasn’t: “Today is Tuesday…and the first time
I’m hearing about this.”
Even after urgent care, I was still casual:
“It’s just a contusion.”
It was now his turn to be nice.
He spooned red beans and rice into a bowl
at home and listened to my pain killer
induced rambling as he held my head in his lap.
I think I apologized before falling asleep,
explaining that I can be a traditional wife,
or at least a normal one–just bad at it.
But the drama was dying down, so he could say ,
“Nah. You keep it interesting around here.”