Every evening, before bed,
Mother would sit, in the dark,
with a cigarette and cup of tea.
This was a ritual.
If asked why, she'd respond,
“I'm thinking about the day.”
I still remember those nights.
fridge, stove, wooden table
where she sat smoking in the dark.
Everything seemed as it should be,
a fitting end to the day.
Sometimes, when I’d come home late,
I’d join her for tea.
She’d ask about my evening,
“Where did you go, what did you do?”
I’d tell her about the night's events,
Who said what to whom, what they replied.
Sometimes, I’d find her crying,
“Your father's with Her again.”
“What does that woman have that I don’t?”
These questions were difficult.
My father wasn’t a bad man, only foolish.
Nothing hurts as much as Mother’s tears.