saturday started

it was over before

it even began

she had some commitment

saturday night

looking after this couple’s kids

we could babysit & stay over

she said

& I did not want to go

so she pulled faces

made me change my mind

the kids were in bed by eight

we kicked back

sucked on some cheap red wine

watching stupid shit on the box

around twelve I called it a night

got into bed turned over

& she started in

I was not the man she thought I was

which somehow was my problem

I got up put my pants & shoes on

she cried out what’s happening here?

I’m gone baby leaving out the door

my bed is peaceful

no noise in my ears there

let’s try again

on another day

everywhere

I go into the kitchen

remains of breakfast

piles of shop receipts on the counters

in the bedroom

contents of yesterdays changeover

handbag purse

on my side of the bed

in the lounge

stuff meaning to be put away

& later

she will sigh

say to me

why is your life so untidy?

& i

of course will hug her

whisper deep in her ear

‘cos I got you in it

baby is why

seven to seven

if y’gotta ask

then the answer

is always close at hand

I was working seven to seven

& the place was a mess

& I’d ask

what is it you do all day

baby?

& she’d smile that smile

make the questions go away

until the next day

& the money would be gone

& its not as if I didn’t love her

she said she loved me true

just there are some things

leaves a man feeling blue

& one day she was gone

note tucked in the mirror

gone to better things x

& I’m still working seven to seven

the place is still a mess

& a man wonders as he tries to sleep

is the smile worth all that

or is the price just too steep?

always

my old man learned early

play your cards close to your chest

let others fill in the gaps

he wasn’t much concerned

in how you felt about that

or fussed if you felt him cold distant

if he cared for you he’d do stuff for you

decorate fix your car clear the driveway

there were times he would be emotional

but nobody wanted any of that

he’d explode into fierce words

fast fists to quell opposition

& that as a kid was beyond frightening

no doubt the reason why his first wife

my mother left him flat for another man

I was only a toddler when one night

I heard noises downstairs went to see

she was standing by the window trembling

he was shouting loud straight standing over

get me the poker! she said to me eyes wide

he’s going to hit me! I got the fire poker

a heavy line of iron dragged it to her

he looked at me with those wild eyes

as I stood in front of her & I will never know

if he remembered that but I felt always he never forgave