Friday, February 10, 2012

Are you happy?

I wish there had been a table between the two of us
our hands folded together upon it
when you looked up at me, sincerely asking,
Are you happy?
I wished you'd asked me more than once in thirty years.

You were at the kitchen table paying bills, I
was anchored at the stovetop turning something into dinner,
while the grandkids chattered noisily between us.  I was, at that moment,
content to hear their little voices like music drifting through
and over us.  You seemed to want to hear, Yes, yes, wildly so!

I hesitated then said, Right now...yes, moderately.
Moderately, you repeated with a half-smile, neither pleased or displeased.
At peace, at least, I explained.  You stared at me in silence
as if wanting more of an explanation, something that is not
common between us.  I continued on,

I like the house, and the garden is so lovely, and the grandkids
are so sweet, blathering on until the interest faded from your eyes
and one of us was needed to solve a small child's problem.
All those days of quiet between us when I longed
for your strong hand around mine and a conversation that began with

Are you happy?

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