For the Wives

by Laura McCollough Moss

She parks the car and trudges inside

for her daily visit

hoping that the new rouge hides

the old tears.

Five years now she has been coming

to see him

He looks nothing like the pictures to

anyone but her.

They say she should go home

and rest, relax

She doesn't know how without him there.

She's had to learn to fix things

she mows grass

and does his laundry at home

She likes it when he smells nice

like he used to.

They don't care like she does

They feed and water him

turn him over

clean up his messes

while they talk about their weekend.

They think she doesn't see them

roll their eyes

when she asks for news of him.

He's fine they say.

If he was fine would he be here?

She cares.

So when they're short with her she cries.

That upsets him

and makes her feel guilty added to sad.

How to make them understand

that he is more than what they see?

He's a father and a fisherman

a foreman and fun at parties

He likes to feel that he's earned

his rest and food

But now they come too easily

and time crawls.

He hurts and misses his dog.

His life in the moving kodak frame

so far away.

The only thing that makes it bearable

is her faithfulness.

He loves her.