Wednesday, April 04, 2007

the love diet (nutritional field reports from Mike Barnes)

When His Mom Found a Lover in the Neighbourhood

We were all much happier.
Ian's learning wasn't always under
attack and my teaching
wasn't always under surveillance.
We actually got more done–
like times on the boss's lunch
when you just relax and do the job.
Afterwards, before I left, Ian
would show me a new card trick
he'd learned from the internet.
The Vanishing Jack, The Stubborn Ace,
he was getting good.
Beside my water cup Alicia
started setting out a cookie or a tart,
a ham and cheese croissant
or a bowl of homemade corn chowder.
Instead of hovering dismayed
she'd just see us started
then fluff her hair in the mirror,
smiling at herself
and knotting a new scarf, then
"Be good, Ian," and off
she'd walk lightly down the steet.
It was a good six months.
Then one day in April I
opened the door and Ian
was his old hyper-sullen self,
no sign of the Bicycle deck,
Alicia's hair was limp, her shoulders
round, she radiated murk
and I was back to plain old
tapwater again, we all were.

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