Husbands And Wives
by Michael Keshigian

She was annoyed when she found out
many years later
that he wrote this poem
instead of writing to her,
that when he woke up
well after midnight and had an urge
to convey his thoughts
they centered upon
the articulation of the rain
against the window pane
and the droopy goldfish
aroused from slumber
when all the lights went on.
She wanted to destroy this page
but always knew it was just
a matter of time before he wandered,
enraptured by the raspy cricket call
against the tree frog ostinato,
a summer serenade that inspired him
like she was once able to do.
He could sit and focus upon
the most menial events
then bring them to life,
like his discussion of the telephone,
so committed to its chime,
unable to function without the constant ring
which complimented and so defined it.
Was it a happy marriage or one of necessity?
Surely the bell and receiver must be friends
conjoined after all this time
or can strangers exist in such close quarters,
like her and her man,
familiar and unfamiliar to each other
all in the same day,
he at his desk, scrutinizing dial tones,
she on the bed, propped up on pillows
reading this.

Copyright 2021 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.