Long Distance Families Don’t Crumble


When you aren’t consulting your doc
for something alarming
it’s like a date, can hear the plane
a chopper flies low
the beat of its engines
like flapping of bird’s wings
bring images of clear skies
you can flirt with him on such a perfect morning
hold his hand as you get off the chair
the smell of his soap rubbing into you

she walks out into the sunshine
to pick bread and cheese
holds the dream time fiercely close
to make a mug of milky tea
as work mails gather in the mailbox
the lonely people in the family
see ghosts throw a blanket of fear
people visit to cheer them
mugs of coffee are prepared
to show it’s not a dysfunctional family
she stirs in more milk
as beads of perspiration gather on the neck
check list ticking off in her mind
all bills paid, dent in the car fixed
brake shoe of scooter replaced
for the son who teases through buses and cars

Did I tell
her husband is in another city
a weekend couple
they talk all day over the phone
unfairness of the burden she simmers
but he has a meeting to attend
and she has coffee to brew
arguments of previous day
overtaken by arguments of today
patchwork of make-ups
build through day
like bubbles popping settling
some hanging dangerously
a heavy tapestry dragging in burden
but she’s too tired at the end of the day
she draws the quilt over herself
as the air conditioner hums softly
she goes to sleep
that’s how long distance marriages last.

PAD Challenge ‘write an exhausted poem’
NaPoWriMo Day 24

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