Checked Out

Every woman needs a man,
Mother told her, to be complete.

To submit, she realizes, too late
soul traded for high-rise living,
big city dreams numbing
inner losses.

She eats to appease 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 her man, schooled
to provide – the alpha male
taking ownership/charge?

His own lack, like a child,
feeding on impulses, craving
attention, overcompensating
for fears with bravado…

cannot understand her fear
of assertiveness – alternately reads
acceptance and disapproval, frets –
gut gnawing incessantly.

They stumble over each other, seek
separation in small quarters, discuss
repairmen, schedules – nothing;

avoid deeper issues such as the fact
that they are both suffocating, near
jumping off the ledge of their high-
falutin’ existence, into the snarl
of traffic that immobilizes them,
the noise of city living negating
their ability to listen, distractions
altering identities, until the distance
between
is too far
to bridge
in a single sigh                      and she
no longer                        submissive
has joined him

and checked out.

(This is a rewrite of a poem, by the same name, written in June 2016.  Shared here for DVerse’s Open Link Night.)

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14 comments

  1. A real, bold and very engaging read V.J. especially loved the raw truth of this stanza:
    “She eats to appease inner sorrow –
    a second-rate childhood – afraid
    of being a burden, loathe
    to create a stir – conditioned
    complacency:
    Appeasing…”

    Terrific!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This speaks of painful truth. Unfortunately, I think many would relate to the pain of separation while still together. I especially like the ending. The spaces between words is a good match for the spaces growing between them.
    “until the distance
    between
    is too far
    to bridge
    in a single sigh and she
    no longer submissive
    has joined him

    and checked out.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just read this aloud to my wife — also a poet — with emphatic voice. Without giving my own comment. She was quite taken. And now I’ll say it — so was I. Brava!

    This is absolute brilliance in formatting: “near
    jumping off the ledge of their high-
    falutin’ existence, into the snarl….”

    Liked by 1 person

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