Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Things I Keep from My Wife by Jean Ryan

That small scratch in our new car, at least until she notices.

Broken egg yolks. I give her the perfect yellow rounds, the slightly bigger shrimp, the cookie with more chocolate chips. I am nothing if not vigilant.

News of animals, their misfortunes. Hopefully she has not seen these stories. I wouldn't know.

Worry about her health, especially her asthma. My anxiety will not help her breathe.

Worry about my own health. The little things. My body is my job, not hers.

Silly, daily mistakes I make. Which might, at this age, cause her concern.

My sullied childhood. This is what therapists are for, to hear the words that must be said to those who will not be gutted.

Behavior I regret, the pages of our book I want to rip out. Admission is not absolution. Instead of soiling her with these images, I offer myself now, the improved version, the best I can muster. So far.

Jean Ryan, a native Vermonter, lives in coastal Alabama and believes that retirement is highly underrated. She has published four books, and her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies.


  1. Quite sure that you have an understanding, empathetic wife who loves you for everything you are! ❤️