Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Learning the Math

Learning the Math

We divided, then subtracted,
one from two,
the one who stayed
never saying goodbye.

She'd given back his love
notes, the Christmas cards,
the years of keeping house,
Yuri's gold-leaf peacock

in its gold-leaf frame.
He'd taken two paintings
she didn't want, thrown
out the two-dogs'

leash, tried to explain why
he'd transferred money
from their joint account.
He barely understood

her need for space,
or time to write her poems
in that room — her own.
She couldn't accept

his need to work those
twelve to sixteen hours
daily, the Saturday
mornings he'd spend away.

What difference did
forgiveness make
when time too mean
with words ill-said

broke her, broke her
mind even more
than her heart. No-contest
was agreed-to,

their settlement cold cash,
one from two arranged
so neatly, how all math
works, its lesson learned.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas