Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One Last Explanation (Poem 324)

His car is new, the grass long 
and bright. They spread a blanket 
under the pines near the chapel, 
unwrap Italian hoagies from 
crackling white butcher paper, and 
eat together, apart. She is ambivalent, 
and finds his manner ingratiating, embarrassingly repentant. 
He hands her a brown paper napkin,
laughs too easily at her half-joking remarks, makes it clear he fears 
she's had enough. And he is right. 
His apologies are a decade overdue. 
The valley spreads broadly beyond 
the little ridge, a film of ocher dust 
tinting the air. His flattery makes her brittle and jumpy. So, when he offers 
his hand to help her up, she 
pretends not to notice, and when 
he allows his lower lip to tremble, 
she stands up, brushes off her jeans, 
and feels for her keys. Following her 
to her car, he subjects her to 
one last explanation, their final 
passage, ridiculous, entangled.

(c) 2014, by Hannah Six