Mary Odenbach

Working Man's Tools
Photo Credit: Bill Gracey

Worn, leather gloves forgotten on the kitchen table
She watches her husband’s friend
Get in his pickup, pull away.

Her eyes follow his path in reverse
Back to the table, to the gloves
She eases toward them

Deftly, she lifts them
Slides her hands in, feels him
Warmth radiates up her arms
His days, tasks, separate life.

She stands, gloved palms touching
Long enough, sliding this moment
Into the deep place
She will revisit.

Placing the gloves
On the table
She starts supper.


Mary Odenbach is a secondary English teacher who lives in Wyoming. Email: mlodenbach[at]