Friday, August 21, 2009

She Married Him

Once they were alone, she was alone
All day she wandered the house looking for herself
Then she made supper for him and the two boys
Sometimes he arrived mad
Sometimes as if he owned her
Sometimes as if he loved her
Sometimes he took the meatloaf and scraped it into the garbage
The two boys sat across from each other
Sometimes he stared at the plate in rage
Sometimes he said the milk in the coffee tasted sour
The two boys sat across from each other
Then he read his book
And she sat in the chair next to him and read her book
It was the same book
A mystery about finding the killer
The one who did it
The one who always did it
Somewhere between pages he’d go outside
At first she wondered where he went
Maybe it was the stars or the moon
But when he came back he looked wild-eyed
And she didn’t dare talk to him
Sometimes she let the kids eat before he got home
Sometimes they ate in the kitchen
Sometimes no one spoke
Sometime he screamed at night
And she knew banshees lived in the attic
One night he crawled down the hall on all fours howling
One night after the kids went to bed
She said she knew
He said what do you know
She said she knew he was drinking
And he threw the ashtray with his cigar still in it
And it broke the lamp and she tried to run
And he twisted her arm and pushed it through the living room window
And the glass cut her wrist and he tossed furniture everywhere
He called her a bitch
He called her a bitch
Didn’t she know?
Didn’t he give her THIS house, this LIFE?
Then he stormed into Winter night
She called the police and she knew
She knew it could be the end, that they might not believe
She called them anyway, anyway, anyway
And they stepped into the house and looked at the broken room
One of them held up her wrist
One of them bandaged her wrist
And then HE leaped into the room
It was his house and they better get
the God damned hell out of his house
He lashed at them with a broom handle
and they wrestled him to the floor
The lights next door snapped on and they dragged him out
and yanked him through the snow, twisting and cursing and shouting
And he was gone and she was alone with a bleeding wrist
Two children and she did not know who to call
She did not know what to say and she did not know where to go
Then it was dawn, then morning and the two boys
came down and saw the broken room
And they didn’t know what it was
And they didn’t know why
And she couldn’t really tell them
So she held up her wrist and she made breakfast
She saw that they washed their faces
She saw that their socks were clean, their coats
were buttoned and their hats squared
She cupped her hands around each boy’s face
She kissed their foreheads and sent
them off to school with strange looks in their eyes
Then she cleaned up the living room, taped the window
And threw out the broken glass
But she needed to change her bandage and throw the bloody one away
But he had the money, and she didn’t drive
Then it was quiet, so quiet she could hear her heart beat
Then she sat in her chair with an empty coffee cup in her hand
She lit a cigarette and watched the smoke rise about her face and hair
She waited and she waited and she waited
She married him

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