Rising before dawn, you
leave me alone in bed. Again.
Where is my friend?
I feel so tired, so sad, pushing
against your invisible wall.
All day you sit in the dark,
alone in your cluttered den,
job-searching the web again.
So far, a fruitless search,
with bitterness cursed.
I dress and leave for work. When
I return you silence my hopes
with your angry shouts. Your pain,
your moody nagging complaints,
induce not my sympathy now,
but doubts. You insult my work,
criticize my thinking and the child
you won't discipline. I set down
the groceries, my leather briefcase,
my unacceptable success. You set
your jaw, swagger out the door, hop
on your bike, driving me away.
Why is your eye so cold, your words
bereft of the old affection, the wall
between us becoming a fortification,
a wedge like the thick knit of your brow,
your jealousy edged with a perpetual scowl?
My life feels under siege, without joy. You
don't want to help, don't wish me well,
only find delight in my difficulties.
Can't you even speak to me kindly?
You say that's who you are, can't change.
Well, I can't scale your wall anymore.
first published in Illinois State Poetry Society
©2009 Bonnie Manion