GailShe'd always lied to him, and he, so vain and, frankly,
Stupid, never once believed she did. The clock
Was ticking. Nearly thirty, plain, without her sisters'
Charms and lovers, with a crummy job, she let him
Put his paws on her, his drunken lips, and, in due time,
She made it known that she would have a child: theirs,
And hoped he had the decency to do the proper thing.
Mixed blessing, that, she realized, and asked herself
From time to time if her life might have turned out
Better if he'd laughed and walked away. Were loneliness
And penury, and scorn much worse than endless lying,
Claims of love and great respect, exchanged for money
And a pleasant place to stay? I came too late to be
Of use, and hadn't much to offer her. A scruffy,
Aging adolescent who showed up almost each day
To read the books she'd hoped to sell, too broke to buy,
Too without propects to have somewhere else to go.
We'd talk. We liked to be together. Once, I met her
Husband there, and, though she'd never spoken
Of them, I could sense her sadness, and see how
She'd always lied.
Poetry by Lawrence Beck
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Written on 2018-09-28 at 19:28
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