©Charlie Bertsch, 2009

©Charlie Bertsch, 2009

Should a buzzing yellow jacket land on my summer grilled salmon, I carefully eat from the west side while the insect nibbles from the east. If the unfortunate creature selects instead my husbandʼs plate, in a nanosecond it lies flattened beyond recognition under the tines of a dinner fork.

Occasionally the two of us exchange brief remarks about our different styles, especially when I see murderous intent in my husbandʼs visage, and hasten to rescue a hapless bug from imminent slaughter. Recently my dearest had occasion to summarize our contrasting approaches in neat couplets, if you will . . .

We lay on our backs in bed at our favorite country inn, he reading and I watching a small brown spider chart an uncertain course across the wavy plaster ceiling. Suddenly my man eyed the spider, and testosterone flooded his cells. He leapt from the sheets, and in a dazzling display of artful balance on the wobbling mattress, rolled his magazine into a bludgeon and struck a mighty blow that sent the spider to another world.

“I watch ʻem and you squash ʻem,” I observed, saddened.

“Why yes,” he beamed. Already infused with the spirit of upmanship, he heard my comment as an invitation to a new game. He continued merrily. “You feed ʻem, I bleed ʻem. You greet ʻem, I beat ʻem.” He was heady with his rhyme.

I sighed and turned out my light.

He unfurled his weapon and bounced back into bed. “You attract ʻem, I attack ʻem.” He wasnʼt finished. “You play ʻem, I slay ʻem.” There was no tempering his triumph that night.

But over morning coffee we spoke of U.S. foreign policy.
©Vicki Sievers, 2009

Vicki Sievers (summer 1987) taught middle school English, math and art in the Kentfield School District in Marin. Retirement pleasures include making art, arranging words, hiking, and attending concerts and classes. She is a grateful member of a writing group of BAWP alumni who have worked together since the conclusion of the ʻ87 institute.

One Response to “Men are from Swat-it, Women are from Save-it by Vicki Sievers”


  1. Oh my!

    Your characterization of your husband’s glee, your sadness, and my imagining of your subsequent morning coffee conversation delight me.

    Thank you!

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