The dishes need to be washed.
The dog needs to be walked.
The children need to be watched.
The minutes slip by one by one
Before you notice the years gone.
The hair becomes less; the belly more.
Things you wanted to do together
You can only do apart,
And the fire that glowed between
Now glows for others if at all.
The excuses become cliché.
The door slams as she goes on her way.
Her car will return near midnight.
The woman will remain absent.
A cold stranger enters the house.
Life can continue this way
Until one or both go mad,
Or you can end the silent screams
With the noise of breaking glass.
Let all the windows shatter.
The world will get in,
One way or another,
But at least part of you
Will leak out.
Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory for 24 years. His books include Suckers, For the Birds, and Longing for the Mother Tongue.