A Sudden Change in the Gravitational Pull of the Earth
I was thinking today
about those surprise meetings
we all have
bumping into our pasts,
many nothing special,
our past that carries us forward
through the present
You and I were at the craft show,
a big one in Toronto,
you could smell money and stress on the people
brows registering their list of people and the ones
You were hunting gifts
and working as well
looking for designs and vendors,
the high end reno work you did then.
I think I was along to carry packages
and a little company and wearing my
“I is an artist” credentials,
my dog-eared membership card
the one I flash when someone accuses me
of being a Martian.
Round a corner he strolled
and you and I were face to face
with your ex-husband,
more handsome than his photo,
my height and polished,
charming and polite.
We were all polite,
light, casual, carefree.
A whole forty-five seconds.
A pair of Grecian statues and me the tourist.
Then he glided on
and you walked ahead to a booth
then turned to me and said you had to sit down.
You took a breath in like you had just surfaced
from the bootom of the sea.
I scouted a bench in the aisle and took your arm
and steered you over for a crash landing on it
You wouldn’t say much then
just wanting water
which I fetched
and we sat there until your white face
returned to normal.
For once I kept my mouth shut
held onto my usual dozen questions.
On the drive home you explained a little
but what I remember now is how you described
the moment you had seen him last,
before the craft show day.
You asked him how much
it would take to make him leave your life.
He thought about it and told you
and you wrote that down on a cheque
and he picked it up,
folded it and put it in his wallet
and glided out of your life.
And I looked down at your hands
when you told me the story
and they were palms up,
empty and pleading,
trembling just a little,
ready to catch your tears
that did not fall.