Excerpt from

Each in a Place Apart

In my stupid arithmetic, we're
outnumbered, she and I, by my wife and two sons.
Barbara doesn't notice any change. We visit her
parents. Her dad and I go fishing. Bobby's in school.
Linda never asks me to leave them, never says she'll
leave me. We promise only that we'll meet next
week again at Vicki's or at Chuck's. The quick
assurances each time, we're fine, it's again been
less than too hard and here we are. Then always
rapture and protestation, doubt, self-doubt, and
lingering, the future that we're sure we've lost
forever there for us in our clothes on the cold floor.

(c) James McMichael, 1988