After the fight,
my mother sits
in her room,
staring out the window,
wondering where my father
has gone, though she already
knows he is driving
along thin mountain roads,
as he often does
when he is upset.
She wonders why
he always says
he might leave,
because it upsets her so,
even though she knows
he doesn’t mean it.
When he returns,
she won’t look at him
standing there in his best
blue shirt, his hands clutching
a record he bought
on his way home. Only
when he plays it
does she turn to him,
surprised to hear the song
they heard so many years
ago, their bodies close
in a dark gymnasium.
And seeing him there,
seated on the sofa,
a man lost with words,
she simply tilts her head
and waits for him
to take her hand
and lead her
to the dining-room floor,
where they dance a slow,
sorrowful box step,
even though the song is fast
and their hearts are still broken.