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The Anatomy of a Packed Lunch
 
After you've gone to bed,
tangled your feet up in the sheets,
and after you've started snoring,
I make your lunch by the fluorescent light
over the sink.

I very carefully layer together your sandwich
and think of you quickly eating it
as you busy yourself with something mindless,
pausing to wipe your lips on the folded napkin
with a love note scrawled on it.
I don't think you notice those,
but it helps me to imagine you smiling,
tucking the napkin away in your desk drawer
instead of acknowledging its much more likely resting place
in the trash can.

My bare toes stick to the wood floor
as chips clatter to the bottom of a plastic baggy,
and I'm sure you are sleeping soundly,
the careless, easy sleep of a child,
and I wonder how that happens, how you do it--
how you're not drying off the last of the dinner dishes,
tucking stray hairs behind my ear
and kissing my nose,
telling me let's go to bed
but meaning something else.

Everything packed, tucked away,
cold and refrigerated,
the house is quiet
except for all of the sounds of houses at nighttime.
The walls hum and I know
when I crawl in to bed some time after you,
you'll tell me goodnight as a warning,
an admonishment.
But your lunch, at least, is packed.

And I realize what all women must feel at some time
standing in their kitchens late at night,
as they grip the edge of the counter,
pausing to stare at the paper bags lined up,
and understanding that oftentimes,
love is very much wasted.

By heyachristina

© 2013 heyachristina (All rights reserved)

 

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