November 29, 2007
We only talk on the ride home from movies
because if big shiny actors can
do it
up on that screen, then
so can we.

Over the years I’ve gathered the story of
how they met
scraping trapped kernels out of my teeth.
“I was in college.
I worked for him.
An intern.”
Already I’d learned more about her than
years of floor sweeping
soccer practice
filling the kitchen with smells as I
spread papers out on the living room carpet.

“You were born while I was
still in law school.”
This I already knew.
“My sister took care of you
for the first weeks after you were born.”

We never talk about my brother and
it makes me happy.
“I stopped being a lawyer so I could
be a full-time mom.”
Twice the hours with half the pay.
I never knew whether to be grateful
or to mourn such lost promise.

We never talked about
other than briefly mentioning
like a passing, permanent
watching peacefully
as we bustle by every day in
the hurry of our lives.
I never asked.

I never asked why she spent more nights
on the couch
instead of between the lamp and
with the big black hole of a TV
smiling black and silent and dead
down on her
on the couch
as she
read and read and read
until the book fell to her chest.

But one night, shivering in the glow of passing gas stations
and taillights, turning the volume of my cell phone back
up up up
we paused at silent stop signs that gradually turned into
streetlight sagas and tick tick turning tales.
“I still don’t know what I want to be when I
grow up.
Except, I am exactly what I always wanted to be.
A wife and a mother.”
I nodded,
question never asked.

“But I learned that
I couldn’t
do both

I turned to styled blond hair and slightly crooked nose
shoulders up and eyes on that red light.
“So I had to choose.”
green green green
go go go…

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