Yes she’s separated he says

two years, it’s been rough but she’s mending

In response to my whispered question.

I’d been with her at the airport lounge

she knocking back the doubles faster than I recalled her doing

Laughing joking

grin wild

Has my boy done the lawn

Has he done

Has he not done

She always raved about her first born son, even of the bad

but absent was her husband from her words

Lover from youth, always there until now

she who had the rows of excavators, backhoes

adorning her desk from him

she so excited that her promotion

could release him from the chains of his job

to pursue his passion as career


And I, whose foot seldom strays from mouth

for once sat mute and smiling

mind asking “where is he?”

Mouth remaining shut

(and perhaps introversion is a blessing)

recalling a scant conversation of a year ago

Nothing since said between us

As I asked how she was, said she looked tired

which with downcast eyes and whispered monotone

she denied


And now after asking, with knowledge

I find myself caring

for one I do not care for

Do I really worry for her mind

or do I fear

that that which has overtaken them can overtake



And today with her smiles and laughter

lighter hair, fitter frame and brighter eyes

navel bar glimpsed

newly inserted, red raw surrounds belying its newness

deep red roses in her office

and her time the wrong side of 35

she seems younger, or released


I find I do not care

I have no true concern of her welfare

Nor, of a fact, any who darken that place’s doorway

Just a mind to my own social awkwardness

To my desire not to be seen

not to ask the wrong question

so I may safely remain as wallpaper


And as a fleeting acknowledgement

of my darker fears

of the cold within


I remain self

I and I



Thanks for reading my story. I’m really keen to get your feedback and to know if you liked what you read. Please leave a quick comment if you could.

Cheers, Ish




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