A Nice Old Couple - a poem
In the evenings they would sit together
he to the side of the fire
long slicing shadows obscuring
one side of his thin face,
a partial mask to her
chair facing the fire directly
her face down, always
her grey hairline serving as a mouth
protesting. . .what?
(she was sure she was protesting but
she could never remember what) .
It had been this way for so long
they seemed to themselves like
actors in a play without end that
refused scenes and acts and
other kinds of form,
it was the mere truth of . . .
to be continued. . .. . .to be continued .
And so each night he read of economics and
wars and rising lowering stocks and bonds
with his polished glasses on his
half-face in the fire light .
She dreamt of wispy faeries dancing
with leering satyrs
on black silk sheets moist
from the last hour -
and she was sure
he could hear the violence of the
consuming blush next to him
by the fire .
When it happened
people were in shock. . .how could they?
. . .they were so nice!. . .my God !. . .
why. . .? my God ! and . . . my God !
As they shook their heads,
a drifting moon slid behind a cloud
a dog’s bark hung in an empty lane
an owl hooted softly in the walnut grove
by the river .