The Hardest Word
“We hurt the ones we love the most,” she mumbles.
An alleged joke. Sidles a coffee mug onto my desk.
Two custard creams. Outside the rain’s come on
again. Heavy. Battering down her tulips. Snapping
their stems. Both her hands grasp the doorframe
like she might fall, a crumple of jeans and jumper
for me to kick out of the way. But she foot-to-foots.
Can’t put both soles to the floor. A comical dance
(if today wasn’t so far from laughter), her jigging
on the spot, a pantomime of really needing a wee.
I can’t look at her: the blur reflected in the laptop
is enough. And her cried-out sniff. So persistent.
Get a tissue. Memory’s pollyfilla pastes the gaps
so I can view it all in widescreen 3D. Everything:
performance aimed at me. That sob-cracked mouth
doesn’t ever say she’s sorry. This time, neither will I.