I’m being a good girl, Dad
Staying out of sight
Keeping my needs to a minimum
Promise I don’t cry, Dad.

I’m being a good wife, Dad
Cooking all his favourites
Letting him walk ahead
Never uttering a peep, Dad

I’m a perfect background wife, Dad
Just like you taught me; just like Mom
Only no one has to hit me to make me
behave, Dad; I learned it good from you.

(Image my own)


End Suffocation

Too much black
Too much colour;
Fashion out of sync

Too many calories
Extra weight a turnoff
Comparisons cut deep

Stay close;
Stop being anti-social;
Friendliness invites abuse

Children need their mother
How do you plan to pay?
Better find a job.

Never enough
Beaten by criticism
A lonely marriage

Control suffocates
Narcissism cares not
Road is dead-end

Break free
Take the leap
True love begins with self.

(Image my own)


“I’d like to get you know more,”
he said, pulling up a chair
met with stunned silence

“Truly,” he prodded, “I feel
as if we’ve drifted apart,
and I’ve ignored us.”

I might have said “No kidding”
but hope swelled with his words
and I blurted: “Ask away.”

So he listened,
as he had that first night
when tipsy and enamoured

We’d stumbled home
from the bar, and he
into my bed…and stayed

Seventeen years
three children
and five houses

and now he wanted to know
all about me – my interests
my dreams, my fears

And trout-like, I bit
spilled it all, still believed
in turning points and

riding off together
into the sunset, reunited
by undying love

It all showed up,
twisted of course,
in the court affidavit

material to defeat me
in divorce – discredit
my parenting capabilities

He didn’t succeed, still
wish we’d mingled more
you know – actual dates

before I’d committed
my life to this robotic
man, who never saw me.

(For Eugi’s Weekly Prompt: mingle. Image my own.)

Marital Dance

We converse in actions
words inaccessible –
have not been schooled
in dialogues for two.

His clutter spreads
pronounce’s a kingly
presence, commands
attention, oppresses

I clean with insistence
shuffle papers, wipe up
crumbs, assert my right
to co-exist, belittle him.

Once we studied dance;
he learning to lead, I
to follow signals – the art
is lost on us now, our steps

more interference, blocking
an inconvenience, not a
strategy; we are rhythmless
tolerating avoidances

How did language fail us
experts now at skirting
delicate issues, retreating
into solo performances

Pray time will serve,
absolve the problem, but
distance grows in silent cracks
we only converse in actions.

(Marital Dance first appeared here in August, 2017.
I submit it here, edited, for Eugi’s Weekly prompt: dance.
Image my own.)

Not All Wins Are Monetary

Gambled late in life –
one more spin on love’s wheel –
we got lucky

You’ll need protection,
ego said,
and led me down paths
soaked with yesterday’s tears-
annoyances nipping at progress

But I am strong-willed
better than that,
I said, choosing to follow
a different route

The roulette wheel spins
and here I sit, alone
counting my wins

No amount of bargaining
can alter current misfortune
Pray my husband
finds his way back.

(Image my own)


Sold my soul for union –
destruction built-in

Narcissism is a bastard
luxuriates in self-catering

Did not anticipate loss –
innocence slaughtered

Force to grow sensibility
don a tough shell –

Would not let betrayal
call me by name.

It was not meandering
that shredded my heart

but the loss of a child
caught in the crossfire

too young to discern
parental alienation.

(Image from personal collection.)