abuse

32B

Abuse is subtle
Nothing friends see
I'm blamed for his mistakes
He credits my work to himself.
Observes I'm “almost” thin enough
Implies small things lacking
If only I were smarter, prettier, quieter
He laughs when I fail 
Photographs my clumsiness 
Ignores my success
Mumbles under his breath
the whispered threat
“I’m getting angry.”

He pouts childlike when ignored
Hovers over me in arguments
He buries the kitchen table in papers
Resists clearing it even for parties.
Holds my arm tightly lest I leave
The Christmas tree he promises to take down
remains up until Easter.
His hatchet for cutting up chicken
for the dogs rests against the hoosier.
It gives me pause.
He harangues me while I book vacation.  
I select the seats.  
I'm in 13A
He’s in 32B.


Published by

Cynthia M. Sheward

Cynthia Sheward has written poetry since she was a child. She was born in Massachusetts but spent her young life in New Jersey. She applied her English degree from Arcadia University teaching junior-senior high school in Vermont the 70’s. In the 80s, she and her husband built their own house with their own hands in the mountains of North Carolina. In the 90s, she returned to NJ where she worked for a Fortune 500 corporation until her retirement. Her work has been published in Friends Journal, Evening Street, the Bennington Banner, Fiber Arts Magazine, the Mountain Times and various other print media. She currently resides in Jupiter, Florida.

4 thoughts on “32B”

  1. Great poem and it is like you wrote about my marriage except I was not brave enough to have him sit in seat 32B.

    Like

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