The mistress, meticulously groomed
glows a sun-kissed bronze shimmery
invitation, promising seductive
sensations of pleasure and release.
The husband, tense, overworked,
heeds the call like a sailor
following the lure of sirens.
The flirtation begins in innocence,
he sips from her splendour at a party,
tastes her bittersweetness and
feels himself losing all control.
She is a master, a pupeteer
mesmerizing him with her smooth,
easy ways – lulling him into compliance
and alone; for private indulgence.
The wife, tired, lies awake
the empty space beside her
echoing the hollow place within-
she no longer holds his desire.
Spent and reeking from his illicit encounter,
the husband stumbles into bed,
reassuringly reaching for his wife in the dark.
Unresponsive, she feigns sleep.
They’ll not speak of it tomorrow-
awake and re-engage in the routine they call life.
Not tonight, he’ll tell himself,
Not tonight, she’ll hope.
The mistress sits smugly in waiting,
a never ending supply of liquid gold,
bottled with a promise – subliminally
conditioned to bring personal gain.
(Gains and Losses first appeared here in December of 2014. As a child of alcoholism, the Christmas season is always a reminder of the pain. Some gains are just not worth the cost. If you or someone you love has a problem with addiction, please make it a resolution to seek help. There is so much more to life.)