I should stress, right from the start, that this poem is not autobiographical. Or at least it isn’t *recently* autobiographical. I wrote it a couple of months ago after reading something in someone else’s journal. So please don’t worry, kitanzi and I are doing just fine. 🙂


When we were children, we were taught
To mind our elders
And to clean our rooms
And to always say “please”
And “thank you”
And to finish what was on our plate

And when we were children, we were taught
that stories always had happy endings
and that love was a simple
magical thing that would always endure.
Who didn’t long to be a fairy-tale prince
Winning at long last the heart of a fair lady
While the dragon slithered into the shadows
To wither and die?

Today, you are packing your things
And I know that I will spend this evening
With my thoughts and my regrets
And whatever empty fare can be found on the TV
And even though you will tell me again
How it isn’t my fault
I will wonder what I didn’t do
Or maybe what I did.

When we were children, love was a simple thing
And stories always had happy endings.
But now I find that sometimes stories end like this,
with a half-empty box of Chinese takeout
and a half-empty house
and a half-empty heart