​She liked it black, with sugar,
preferably French pressed.
It always left her with headaches.
“Hurry up!” She yelled as I got dressed.

Rush to drop off the baby.
Rush to get her to the train.
To sit in hours of bumper to bumper
a grind that has me insane.

Nice house full of distractions,
a neighborhood no bigger than a minute.
All day at work, out on the weekend,
I have a nice house, but I am never in it.

Off to the Dillingham’s party,
an appearance at an event for the firm.
Stuck in a tuxedo torturing my privates,
all I can do is smile and squirm.

Served with some unpleasant papers,
I become an out-of-body reviewer,
of all the years, and all the mistakes,
the realization I hardly knew her.

I thought she liked it black with sugar,
maybe it had gotten cold and bitter.
Left in a pile of stained dirty dishes
when one day the realization hit her.

False bravado, “good riddance,” I’d think,
to my friends, “it’s her loss,” I would say.
But there is always an emotional investment,
and part of your spirit, ultimately taken away.

M. Zane McClellan

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