At the Top of the Stairs

Sitting at the top of the stairs
I listen in
The yelling, the arguments
They don’t even attempt
To keep their voices down
Do they expect me not to hear?

It is impossible not to
Overhear their words
Their voices cut through
The walls, clearly audible
They carry through plaster as if
Through a telephone line

I am not the only one listening
He comes and listens, too
We listen together
As their voices form a crescendo
I sit beside him at the top of the stairs
“They’re getting a divorce,” he tells me

That was years ago
We were both younger then
He was in high school, I in elementary
It took calendars before the divorce came
Papers and lawyers and a house for sale
Arguments gone quiet, bitter

He was right after all
It just took longer than we guessed





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