Eight years ago I would have stalked
the streets instead of pacing our bedroom floor.
Before children became my tethers
I would have burst like a flame leaping
through an unopened window,
and left you lacerated with this fury.
Or maybe, I would have insisted you left- instead.
My gums pulled back to bare teeth,
the inner-ugly spilling out.
But not now, now everything is fragile and neccessary all at once.
In the now, things,
important things hang in the balance of us making it.
There is no room for dramatics.
Or the crust-breaking desperate breaths
like a drowning victim fighting for the surface.
No moments of would-be silence filled
instead with disappointed if-onlys.
Or broken spined poetry books to share
the torment of being let down.
I gutted, rinsed and cleaned out
every big town dream
till my thoughts were sterile, quiet and calm.
A lobotomy to stop wanting things outside reason.
Anything outside of being your sounding board,
your partner, was too difficult to manage fairly.
A dream tourniqutte around my lungs.
To breathe, if just to breathe.
How I have erred,
the naive fool who thought
she was only pretending at playing the joker.
How surprised when the mask would not come off!
I was meant to be sleepless.
To toil into the deep night,
working on the future, documenting the past.
Awake in time to see children off to school.
However in the bright morning I am,
just another mother flipping laundry
unloading the dishwasher,
making up four beds emptied of their contents.
I guard the door,
here when you come home
and when you leave.
Hello! Good-bye again.