THE END OF THE AFFAIR
We arrange the Meissen between us
(tundish for you, tureen pushed to my side),
dividing the final rags of a marriage
from an affair several years dead.
Our hands shepherd transparencies
one by one to light to view
until birthdays and vacations fall
like sheared fleece upon the hardwood floor.
The books fall more readily
into rank, soldiering stiffly
for what we used at night
to keep from one another's sight.
And records – call them music
if you will – we add contempt
to each release. A hurried trade
speeds some last knick-knacks on their way.
And two more, aged twelve and eight,
we consign to weekends, holidays;
ourselves to minutes parked in driveways
watching parentage slip away.
The bed, old scarred four-poster,
hides like an embarrassment upstairs
because after many turns and twistings
it will not squeeze through the bedroom door.