Friday 7 May 2010

'I’m not hungry’, he says.

‘What do I do with this?’ he asks, staring blankly at the can opener,
After he offers to make the tuna salad on his own.
So I open the can of tuna. I show him how.
Then he accidentally drops it on the floor, with a defeated moan.

Of course, I tell him to sit down – ‘I’ll do it’, I say.
And I watch him drag his feet towards the couch.
He looks at the TV guide, and grabs the remote.
I tell him to sit up straight and not to slouch.

I bite my lip. I try not to yell – I do.
In silence I wipe tuna broth from the kitchen blinds.
I’m a nagging wife, and he’s a lazy husband.
Is this how we’re going to spend the rest of our lives?

Frankly, what is there to say to a man so stubborn?
So stubborn he neglects to wash his phlegm down the drain.
Why do I always have to clean up all his mess? I ask.
Or take his washing off the line in the rain?

Clean, wash, eat, wash, clean, yell.
Can he not lend me a hand for just one day?
Nag, prod, whine, prod, nag, complain.
How does he manage to always get his way?

I bring him his salad. ‘I’m not hungry’, he says.
I feel my face go hot and my ears burn red.
He says, ‘Put it in the fridge. I’ll eat it later.’
At times like these, I wish he were dead.

I go back into the kitchen and put the salad in the fridge.
I pour myself a glass of wine. I put poison round the rim.
I return into the lounge, in my crazy calm,
And I say, ‘Oh darling, sorry, would you like some gin?’

He grunts and nods. I take that as a yes.
I expect he’ll take a sip from my wine.
I bring him his gin, but hasn’t touched my glass.
Tonight will not be the night, I commit this crime.

Instead, I decide, it’ll be my last night.
I don’t care if I go to heaven or if I go to hell.
No more waiting hand and foot on a grumpy old man.
No more pretending life is all dandy and well.

I begin to sing a song I wrote for him once.
With wine glass in hand, I jump onto his lap.
He tells me to get off and to ‘shut up, slut – Now!’
I scull my wine. He says, ‘Cut the crap.’

So, I watch the blue light flicker on his stale face.
It slowly becomes a blur. I feel myself fall.
It’s over, I sigh. I’m finally fading.
Then I realise he had sipped my wine, after all.

We both meet each other, on the other side.
And he tells me off for killing him.
‘It’s not my fault you took a sip from my glass’, I say.
But I misunderstood. That was not the sin.

‘I love you,’ he says, before he leaves me standing alone.
He never makes it through the wall of light.
I watch him now, from above, as he cooks and cleans.
Perhaps we missed a chance to make things right.

I’m stuck somewhere. I don’t know where.
But I don’t ever, ever seem to sleep.
And I’m burdened now, with my husband’s grief.
And I’m forced to watch – watch him weep.


  1. You are a fantastic poet, did you know? I hope you do, because I love the poem. :) It's so relatable and interesting. And... those are really boring words to use for a poem this good, sorry, but they are both true. :)

  2. I really enjoyed this as well. It was truly well-written and very poignant at the end. Great job!

  3. Was this meant as poetry?

    Regardless, the story was great.

    Romeo and Juliet as it should have been, none of that let me "kiss thy lips haply some poison yet doth hang on them" nonsense.
    The reader can relate to the anger and frustration, and then the ending comes in smoothly and pulls the noose.

    Sorry for comparing but this reminds me, mostly in style and a slightly in content, of one or two Roald Dahl short stories, "Lamb to slaughter" is the only one I can remember the title of but there a couple others. Except that your main character feel remorse...

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. This was great! It actually brought tears to my eyes because my husband just left to go on a business trip (and I miss him) and right before he left we got into a huge "discussion" about my lack of motivation regarding laundry, and his lack of knowledge of what a hamper is. I loved this!

  5. Bethany: Thanks. That's very sweet :) I feel guilty now, I actually whipped it up in about half an hour! I didn't think it was that great. Shows what we know about our own abilities, hey?

    Jaydee: Thanks so much!

    Alesca: Yes, it was meant as poetry - but kinda poem / tale. Nice comparison - I'm flattered! Roald Dahl was a favourite of mine when I was a kid :)

  6. Kierah: Ahh, thanks :) He'll be back soon and then you can argue about it! ;)

  7. His adult fiction is great too, and delightfully dark.
    Just mentioning in case you had missed them.
    Several of his short stories are collected in a book "Tales of the unexpected"

  8. You make me all warm and fuzzy inside:) xoxo

  9. Loved this!!! Really.

    And you're in my thoughts...stay inside. Stay safe.


  10. Wow, I could feel the emotion streaming out from this. Thank you!

  11. Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I was totally capivated by the emotion.

  12. Yo! AlliAllo ~
    For about a year and a half now, I have subscribed to a current events magazine called The Philadelphia Trumpet. This magazine expresses a Biblical world-view. I don’t always agree with their interpretations of how world events fit into Biblical end-time prophecy, but I find their articles always erudite and well worth considering.

    Well, I fell behind in my Philadelphia Trumpet reading, and when I received their latest edition, I realized that I had not yet read their April installment. So I got caught up last night, and in my reading I was reminded of you because a few articles addressed the current situation in Greece and I found them interesting. In case you would like to see what they think about that issue, I’m including links to two of the articles.

    This first one is a month old (from the May issue) and it’s titled The Greek Crisis Was Planned!

    This second one, from the current issue, is titled We Were Wrong— Germany Is Taking Over, in which they report on a secular think-tank that apparently is arriving at the same conclusion that The Philadelphia Trumpet expressed in their earlier May article.

    Agree or disagree, I think you might find this stuffs worth thinkin’ ‘bout.

    I hope you are well and safe there.

    ~ Stephen
    "As a dog returns to his own vomit,
    so a fool repeats his folly."
    ~ Proverbs 26:11

  13. Wow, that's really good, Jessica. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow. I loved it. Seriously, loved it!

    I have an award for you today! Have a great weekend. :-)

  15. Wow Jessica this is cool. I was so wrapped up in the scene that I didn't even realize it was a poem until several paragraphs in. It's sad really, but beautifully written.

    Today's guest bloggers are Lisa and Laura Roecker!

  16. That was really good. I think I am going to start crying due to the ending but still, it was amazing despite how sad it was!

  17. I loved that! Dabbling in flash fiction is fun, no? I like the twist at the end as well...sometimes in flash it feels too sudden, but the tempo was just right in this.

  18. ...been watching Wild Kingdom a.k.a. Greece on the news. i'd echo the sentiment "stay safe."

    as to what you've written? i thought it was real INITIALLY:) it could have been...imho. and then i realized the truth. i think you would be great at fishing! you really set the hook!

  19. Wow, great post. I didn't realise it wasn't real (like Matthew) till halfway though. You rock.

    Glad you are okay. Stay safe.

  20. Your words drew me in and at the end...I wanted more. Wonderfully done! (Hugs)Indigo

  21. Jessica! I thought your poem was brilliant. I love poems that tell a story, but what I really enjoyed about this piece was the rhythm I fell into as I read. It wasn't dictated by meter or sound devices. Rather, it was the rhythm of the narrator's thoughts, as they'd played out before in her past, as they would have played out again had she not committed her crime that night. Fantastic!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  22. Wow, That was amazing. Very haunting at the end.

  23. Great writing. I didn't even notice the rhyme at first . . . it read so natural. Great work!

  24. Wow. I don't have words to describe how that made me feel. Very good.

  25. That is a beautiful entire story and the emotion is so prevalent throughout.

    You are truly a gifted poet!

  26. Is it bad to say I'm soo glad you killed him, but I wish you had lived :) I too, did not even notice the rhyme because the imagery and fluidity were so flawless! Phlegm in the drain, that was hysterical!


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

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