We had more than one request for Blair’s pea-themed love poem to her husband. She willingly plays along and makes me smile that big kind of smile that makes your ears hurt.
Falling For My Husband
by Blair Hobbs
Beanstalk skinny, I cared more about not eating
than stirring my dormant tastebuds.
Most flavors left me cold,
but peas, cooked to an institutional drab,
downright offended my fallow tongue.
In heaps, peas showed up on school cafeteria trays
and in my great aunt’s “Crowder Pleaser Salad,” a water-logged
mayonnaise and relish mishap she concocted
for her nursing home’s special occasions.
a pea was a stone
or the period at the end of a boring sentence.
My thin smile appealed to a man whose tongue was a meadow.
For courtship, I wore size zero silk dresses, high heels
and peony-pink lipstick. He took me
dancing and we twirled and shook.
We laughed and baptized ourselves with spilled Zinfandel.
He dined me and tried seducing my love-dumb senses
into surrendering to field pea risotto with white truffles,
Texas caviar, and blackberry-glazed quail
on a bed of pink-eyed pea salad.
Although I dismissed his razzle-dazzled legumes with a “yuck,”
he kissed me anyway. Little did I know
that those night-time words he whispered into the hull of my ear–
Whippoorwill, glory, snow, butterfly, sweet, and (later) zipper–
were all names of peas!
One noon, full of buttery sunlight,
this man offered me lunch, sage leaves and lady peas.
Perhaps brainwashed, I took the warm bowl.
Before I knew it, my mouth eased open
above the question mark of steam. I lifted the spoon,
chewed and felt the tender pearls dissolve
across my peppered tongue. First lips and throat,
then the whole rest of my body sighed awake.
Here is what Blair says today about her wedding picture:
This photo is of a LONG time ago. I think I’d gone up to a size 2 by the time of our wedding. My, how things have changed!