Saturday morning, and orange juice and the heater’s buzz, and outside, the first Alberta Clipper. Snow-spray blusters past the window. A brain surgeon on the radio — and I hear the tears in his voice — says how good he feels sometimes, repairing spines. He does more spines than brains, he says, and with both, no room for mistake. And there lies the satisfaction. Sure. Like in class yesterday, the reticence, the silence — just one of those days, or Friday, or too few had read too little. Whatever. But, silence. So I refused to speak — puttered through my notes, underlined more lines, watched them fidget, shuffle feet, roll eyes. And still I waited. Until, on the cusp of a riot, Jordi couldn’t stand it and got things going — she scores for the soccer team — said she’d read her in-class piece, her discussion of love. Someone you love will always be there for you, no matter what, she read, and then she asked Gabe to read. And with a grimace, and a breath, he did: You would die for the person you truly loved. And so it was around our circle, Gabe asking Katy, Katy asking Anne, Mike, Rhianna, reading definitions of love, just what love is. And they all felt good, buoyed by sharing, control. By love. But I am a professor, and so I suggested omission — they were, it seemed, thinking ideal, ignoring the real love in the day-to-day. Silence then. And shoulders sagged, eyes fell. Silence. Morning drifts toward lunch, Car Talk on in a bit. Three crows wrestle gusts on the backyard fence. And I think that, though I could not begin to slice muscle around a spine, I, too, work in a world of brain, and of heart, to boot, and what may be a blessing is this: my mistakes are not so calamitous as that surgeon’s might be, though my regrets must be every bit as fine. Every bit.