Reading: Week of 2/22/21

Reading and Questions for Reflection
for your own practice and for discussion in Wednesday’s Soulwork gathering


Love Worn by Lita Hooper
In a tavern on the Southside of Chicago
a man sits with his wife. From their corner booth
each stares at strangers just beyond the other’s shoulder,
nodding to the songs of their youth. Tonight they will not fight.

Thirty years of marriage sits between them
like a bomb. The woman shifts
then rubs her right wrist as the man recalls the day
when they sat on the porch of her parents’ home.

Even then he could feel the absence of something
desired or planned. There was the smell
of a freshly tarred driveway, the slow heat,
him offering his future to folks he did not know.

And there was the blooming magnolia tree in the distance-
its oversized petals like those on the woman’s dress,
making her belly even larger, her hands
disappearing into the folds.

When the last neighbor or friend leaves their booth
he stares at her hands, which are now closer to his,
remembers that there had always been some joy. Leaning
closer, he believes he can see their daughter in her eyes.



  • When you consider the ups and downs of thirty years, what do you expect from the present?
  • When you think back, what was a moment when you thought you knew where life would take you?


Photo of vintage bar stocked with bottles of liquor, glasses and colored lights

Photo by Erin Scott