Three’s a Pain
I curl into a corner of the sofa, my hands sheltering a glass of Zinfandel. Candlelight flickers on the walls and paints shadows on the lines of his handsome face. His fingers caress a lovely melody from the ivory keys. I close my eyes, smiling, content.
A moment later it’s all over. Wine trickles down the door, shattered glass is everywhere. His prized keyboard is in shambles, and he’s cursing in the yard. The love song had started off so beautifully … and then he mentioned his mother’s cooking. Again. God, I hate that woman.
Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!
I never said it out loud
But inside I was screaming, jumping
up and down, hoping to hear
my name called. One by one
the others would leave my side.
Chosen for their long, strong legs
and youthful skill, I couldn’t compete,
no matter how hard I tried.
It still hurts sometimes, but now
I smile, remembering the day when
I somehow shone amidst the others
and you, with your hand outstretched
and your face alight, picked me.
We sit together on the porch
I grip her hand, holding tight
Chattering, determined, of days gone by
Desperate for a nod, a whisper
Watching helplessly as she fades slowly
From our friendship, from her life.
She was still debating. Dare she?
Never the brave one, it was
a matter of pleasing him or
blending in as she usually did.
She could almost hear his voice,
urging her on … wear his favorite …
laughing, telling her she’d look like
a cardinal amidst the old crows.
How could he have left her?
How could she live without him?
She refused to cry as she
shoved aside the hated black dress
and resolutely reached for the red.