steps to maintaining a Functional Relationship

“Take more care of yourself.”
Friend said
from behind a plastic clipboard
and wire-framed glasses.
“Communicate your feelings.”
I nodded
and tucked away
this piece of advice with the others.

It was the evening after
when I waded waist-deep
into stagnant waters
and dredged up a heart and
three empty littered cans.
The cans I tossed back,
but the organ I cradled a bit
in one arm while
with the other hand
I smeared away the mud and algae.

It absorbed me the way
the thing throbbed so
fatty red
underneath my fingers,
helplessly vital
with the aortic valve
gasping open and closed,
like the scrunched lips
of a crying babe.

I looked at it and, making a decision,
carried it the half mile home,
to drop it on the kitchen table,
where He looked at it
like a sodden boot
and asked what I was getting at.

I wiped my muddied hands off
on the front of my dress
and told him
it could be a conversation piece.

He repeated, with patient irritation,
that he wasn’t much for conversing
and got up to our room
to go to sleep.

I sat a while in silence.
Then, picked the heart up off the table,
and mopped up the mess.

The next afternoon,
He sat in his chair
reading his paper
while I worked
to the murmur of my thoughts.
He glanced up eventually,
and asked about dinner.

I wiped my bloodied hands off
on the front of my dress
and told him
I’d prepared a small meatloaf.

He nodded and scratched his stomach,
so I left to set the table.

Our forks whispered back and forth
over the ceramic of our plates.
We looked at our laps
and filled our mouths.

“You’re making steps”
Friend said
from behind a plastic clipboard
and wire-rimmed glasses.
“Relationships require compromise.”
I nodded
and tucked away
this piece of advice with the others.

 

——————————————————

Fwew, turns out that moving involves a lot of paperwork. Anywho, popping in here amidst the madness to break the radio silence. Take care folks. 🙂

~Smithy

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4 comments on “steps to maintaining a Functional Relationship

  1. Chagall says:

    A good read. The heart seems perfectly normal in the tone of the poem. Well done. —–Chagall

  2. andrewjgeary says:

    This is terrific stuff. I think stanzas 3-5 are my favorite. I’m not sure if I like the therapist meeting as a framing device but everything else is great.

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