Word Problems

Word Problems

I hate when men write
soft poetry about their ex’s.
It’s easier to read the hate
then to let your mind wonder
“what went wrong?”

It’s easier to hear, I don’t love
you anymore,
then to hear I love you, but…
and the thousand but’s
that say you just didn’t add up.

I mean she,
back to the poet with the soft poetry
and the lost wife.
He writes it, not to her,
but for himself,
to remind himself,
of what he let go,
the additions he didn’t add in
when he was subtracting
all she didn’t have.

All the while he’s telling himself
he was right
to let her go
when he did
because things would have gotten worse
had they not parted before the math was done.
At least this way he can ruminate,
add, subtract, look back fondly and say

we parted as friends,
meaning,
I departed quietly to search for something more,

she just got hurt.

 

 

 

Originally Published in The Northridge Review                                                       copyright

About Noreen Lace

Originally from the Midwest, Noreen Lace received an MFA from California State University where she now teaches. She believes in the beauty of language to express the darkness in life. She is the author of two novellas, West End and Life of Clouds, as well as a book of short stories. Here in the Silence. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in national as well as international journals, including The Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal, The Oleander Review, Vine Leaves Press (Australia), Silver Stream Journal (Ireland), Pilcrow and Dagger, Fishfood, and others. "Memorial Day Death Watch," a memoir of her father's passing, placed as a finalist in Writer Advice, while her poem, "All at Once," was published as a finalist in Medusa's Laugh Contest issue. More work is always in progress.
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