Tuesday, April 19, 2016

James Babbs writes

She Was Already Home

she was already home when I came in 
on the couch watching TV
she didn’t say anything and 
I climbed the stairs to our room
started changing my clothes 
in the bathroom I washed my hands
getting them good and soapy 
recalling what I’d heard
on the radio earlier that day 
how most of us never wash our hands
long enough to get them really clean 
you should sing Happy Birthday they said
about twenty seconds or more 
counting slowly in my head
before rinsing them 
looking at my hands
as if they belonged to someone else 
the face in the mirror the same
the towel rough against my fingers 
when I stepped into the doorway
she didn’t give me a chance to speak 
there’s a plate in the oven for you
she said 
her eyes never leaving the screen
I sat in the kitchen 
eating dried-out chicken and
mashed potatoes with butter 
there wasn’t any gravy 
I drank a glass of water and
listened to the sounds of the TV 
sudden laughter form the audience
after one of the actors must have said 
something that was funny


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