Rebound – by Deborah Adelman

What I loved was
that you had a front forty and a back forty too
that you said I belonged on your land
that I belonged in your bed
that you were happy making the bed together after we had lain in it.

What I loved was
all that quiet, though sometimes I could hear the cows bellowing across the road
the buzzing of daredevil cropdusters flying crazy loops over the fields, showering poison
the naked snow angels in the backyard and the hot tub afterwards
the Japanese lilac blossoming in your front yard.

What I loved was
our loving in the hot tub on the porch overlooking the yard and the Japanese lilac.
I loved that you didn’t argue,
that we did not have children together
that I only saw you for a few days every few weeks.

What I loved was
the way you savored my arrival,
the way you slowly emerged from your house to greet me and take my suitcase
that moment of hesitation before you appeared in the driveway
that told me you couldn’t believe your good fortune that I had decided to return.

What I loved was
the milkweed field all gone to seed in the back forty at the end of summer
the shriveled pods like dried up canaries spilling their guts to the wind
that you loved the lupin
that the Karner blues fed on the lupin.

What I loved was
that the Karner blues overwinter in Wisconsin
that you lived in Wisconsin
being with you in Wisconsin
riding behind you on your Buell to Rudolph.

What I loved was
the wind in my face, the two-lane roads
our balancing together, my arms around your waist
the way you walked, your back straight, purposeful
your startling blue eyes.

What I loved was
picking apples from your tree
the snowshoes
the woodstove
the garden
the spikes of Andean amaranth taking root in the glacial till of your Central Wisconsin ridge
the Incan purple poking up between the peppers, tomatoes, onions, squash
watering the garden
the sunshine glinting rainbows through the spray
the smell of wet soil
the crazy way you planted anything anywhere and it all grew
or mostly anyhow.


Deborah Adelman lives in Oak Park, Illinois and teaches English and Film Studies at College of DuPage. Her fiction, essays and poetry have appeared in Puerto del Sol, Other Voices, Cream City Review, Verse Virtual, and Flash Fiction Magazine, among others. She is the author of two books about young people in Moscow during the era of Perestroika, and also publishes academic work in the Environmental Humanities in various books and journals.