Once, at a Twins play-off game, I sat next to an older couple. They opened a tote and pulled out sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper, peeled carrots, small bags of grapes, and cookies. Dinner, packed at home and brought to the game. There was something about this couple I loved.
“We’ve been going to play-off games all over the country for more than fifty years,” they told me. “And we’ve brought our supper to every one of them.”
When I read the poem below I picture that couple in their kitchen together making sandwiches, and my grandmother swaying in her kitchen to Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, and my mother sauteeing zucchini in her ancient electric frying pan, and the way my father combs through the ads in the Sunday paper. Picturing all the small, particular rituals that make up our lives makes me want to put my arms around the whole entire world.
The Bean Eaters, by Gwendolyn Brooks
They eat beans mostly, this old yellow pair.
Dinner is a casual affair.
Plain chipware on a plain and creaking wood,
Two who are Mostly Good.
Two who have lived their day,
but keep on putting on their clothes
and putting things away.
And remembering …
remembering, with twinklings and twinges,
as they lean over the beans in their rented back room
that is full of beads and receipts and dolls and cloths,
tobacco crumbs, vases and fringes.
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