Checked Out

Every woman needs a man,
her mother told her, to make
her complete.  To submit,

she realizes, too late, soul
traded for high-rise living,
big city dreams numbing

inner losses; she eats to
appease an inner sorrow,
a second-rate childhood,

afraid of being a burden,
loathe to create a stir,
conditioned complacency:

appeasing, pleasing, follows
plans, avoids decisions, never
really knows where she is going.

Can she fault the man, schooled
to provide – the alpha male taking
ownership/ charge?  His child

lives here too, feeds on impulses,
craves attention, overcompensates
for fears of lacking with bravado;

cannot understand why she never
asserts her self, alternately reads
acceptance and disapproval, frets –

an eternally unsettled gnawing gut.
They stumble over one another, seek
separation in small quarters, discuss

repairmen, schedules – nothing;
avoid deeper issues like the fact
that they are both suffocating, near

jumping off the ledge of their high
faluting existence, into the snarl
of traffic that immobilizes them.

The noise of city living has negated
their ability to listen, the distractions
altered them; the distance between

is too far to bridge in a single sigh,
and she, no longer submissive,
has joined him, and checked out.

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4 comments

  1. Insightfully frightening and applicable to so many. Community and working for valued goals seem to have been suffocated by modern society. Hopes and brains safely squeezed into Tupperware boxes of normality.

    Like

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