by Peter Huggins

For lunch my wife and I go home.
We enter the lives of the characters
On tv and forget our problems.

This character's back from the dead.
His ex-wife has remarried;
She doesn't know whom to choose.

That character's his friend,
The mother of the child
He didn't know he had.

This other character's been kidnapped
By her sister, thrown down a well,
And left to die. Someone's always dying.

It's too much sometimes. I yell
At the tv when the woman who started
The homeless shelter gets killed

By the crackhead, taking the bullet
Meant for her husband the doctor, who
Can't save her nor their unborn child.

I try to finish my lunch:
The tuna fish sticks in my throat.
I think I'm choking.

That's too much, too.
My wife turns off the tv as I drink
Some water to clear my throat.

My wife and I get into our car,
Listen to Connick on the radio,
And escape into our own lives.

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