Domestic Nonviolence

by Beate Sigriddaughter

Neighbor Harriet's car is in the shop.
It is winter. He sets the alarm
for 5:00 a.m. to give her a ride to work.

His lover tells him she wants to watch the sun
rise on her birthday in her long red dress,
though it is winter and cold.
He says, "Have a good time."

A friend of a friend invites herself
to spend the night. She also wants to see
a play he is not interested in. But he agrees
to go. Then she suggests a pricey restaurant.

His lover wants to go dancing.
He patiently explains for the umpteenth time
it's just not his thing.

Five guys and two dogs are piled
in his truck, headed for the wilderness.
The air shimmers with morning
and excitement.

His lover waves from the end of the driveway.
She has taken off the month to be with him.