Goodbye to This & That & Him
I’m tired of being hubby’s slave,
sick of dark insulting eyes,
bruises left by words I don’t exchange,
keeping those he hit me with.
Tired of fretting silences,
baking cakes in acquiescence, giving him
both lobster tails we can’t afford.
I stash a one-way ticket in my purse,
pack as fast as hands can move—
stuff in clothes like wadded rags.
No room for coats in case it’s cold.
One pair of shoes—they’re on my feet.
No room for bottles of perfume.
No room for basic toiletries.
I scrub the kitchen twice at least,
just in case the other woman wants to cook.
A three-page letter open on our dining table—
used for coasters under a vial of spendy scotch.
Hustle, hustle, hurry up before
you hear the doorknob turn.
I call a cab—we sit in stretching traffic jams,
a dozen trucks and mini-vans, smothered
in white cherry blossoms—inches thick.
Drivers thrashing windshield wipers,
treating them like falling sleet,
taking out the honey bees that follow petals
wherever they chance to land.
I know I’ve hated living here between the bars
on every window near the ground—
where going to a grocery store
means two sore heels from steel carts.
Where no one speaks, not even birds.
I left the car keys by the door.
He’ll need them, learning how to drive.
Next to them—a can of mace (a birthday gift
for running errands late at night), my wedding ring.
Rays of light are fast asleep, but
suns of polished marigolds must lie ahead.
My dad will meet me at the plane—
the other end of incubus.
Bio: Janet I. Buck
Janet Buck is a seven-time Pushcart Nominee and the author of three full-length collections of poetry; her work has won numerous literary awards and she has published roughly 4,000 poems and non-fiction essays in print and internet journals around the globe during her 18 year writing career. Buck's most recent poems are scheduled for publication in forthcoming issues of The Milo Review, Misfit Magazine, The Ann Arbor Review, Antiphon, River Babble, PoetryBay, and other journals worldwide.