"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Touch of Theater

She dressed for boredom
with the same care
as dinner with royalty.

Pretense requires
a touch of theater
when perpetuating a lie.

May and her husband
resided at the same address
but lived a world apart.

Their marriage had died
but their pride insisted
its obituary not be published.

So each Tuesday night
they dined as expected
on steak and wine at St. Charles Inn.

Sedate lighting hid their tension.
She made the usual attempts
at casual conversation.

Staring at red and feeling cold
he maintained the usual silence,
but smoked a more expensive cigar.

Hair in place, jewels shining
she placed her napkin on the table,
a signal Tuesday night's performance was over.

©Susie Clevenger 2012
 Image: A Dinner Table at Night, 1884, John Singer Sargent
The Mag #129


zongrik said...

...and she does this performance over and over again, and will till the day she dies, even if he dies before her and she does this alone. Pathetic life. :(

Brian Miller said...

long distance relationship in the same house....ugh...but you have to keep up the act to keep the neighbors from talking....what an existence....

Mama Zen said...

That first stanza is just brutal! Excellent write.

Ginny Brannan said...

Sharing a few lines from an as yet unpublished piece, only because the fit so good with this story:

"So keep the pretense, hold the guard up
to those outside looking in
our lives are perfect,
we’ve got the act down once again."

To some, it's all about the show. Good capture, Susie!

Sue said...

Their marriage had died
but their pride insisted
its obituary not be published.

We've all seen this.

Nice write.


J Cosmo Newbery said...

A sad commentary on some marriages!

Berowne said...

How many marriages there are, with unpublished obituaries...

PammyMcB said...

Too many lives are lived this way, and far too many forget why they first married.

I love the opening line... "She dressed for boredom."

I have been there and done that far too many times. I finally learned to say "NO" this year.

Tigerbrite said...

Sad poem Susy, very well done.

turtlememoir said...

a wonderfully written (& yes, sad) poem - i love

"Their marriage had died
but their pride insisted
its obituary not be published."

... & the first & final stanzas are positively brilliant, Susie

Tess Kincaid said...

I especially like "staring at the red and feeling cold"...nice...

Raven said...

Susie, this is so very clever and sadly true to life for many.

daydreamerdreams said...

Very well written! A great performance!

Little Nell said...

Sharply observed piece - well done.

Trellissimo said...

What insight you have captured here. Well done.

Karen S. said...

Such excellent words and haunting syllables when one discovers love is gone.

Dick Jones said...

A nicely observed narrative.

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