I tossed you the shovel so smoothly,
you didn’t notice the exchange amid the whirl of angry words.
Knowing me so well, I marveled that you had missed it.
So when you began to dig, I said nothing.
Deaf to my hidden delight,
and bent on winning our trivial battle,
you never slowed to see the ever-widening trap
or question my sudden stillness.
I bit the inside of my cheek and offered a pickaxe,
when you halted in your mansplaining.
Would you snatch it from me — or climb
from the knee-deep grave of your argument?
Handle gripped in both our hands;
I arched an elegant eyebrow before letting go,
then I said, “Fine,” for encouragement,
as you prepared to swing at the bedrock of us —
My secret amusement abruptly collapsed
when you raised your arms to take aim.
Poised thus, you grinned — and recognition struck.
Bested, I smirked back then laughed at your daring.
“Touché, my love.”
Tarrant Smith 2019