Thursday, November 2, 2017

What Is This Thing Called Love?

The Smitheys
a proper couple
grown round together
often spoke for each other.
Or, conversely
lips pressed, hands folded
Mrs. Smithey
would make a display
of generous silence.
They were well liked.
She for an encompassing smile
he for market tips and jokes.
Happiest apart
they rarely parted.
Until one evening
while telling one of her stories
he choked on a fig and died.
Surprised and angry
she was overwhelmed.
The unfairness of it.
After years of practicing their routine
she was made to start over.
Without him
her smile had no direction
her lips no story to tell
her nerves
no place to land.

Bridget Harwell


Aileen said...

Oh! I just read this now. (The email had landed in my Spam folder somehow and I just found it. I'm so glad I did.) I hear Dickens, in the detail of the fig, and the unfairness, and made to start over, and practicing their routine. And in their name. I love their name. Like blacksmiths. Hammering something out together.

"Happiest apart, they rarely parted" seems like the core of the poem, and tragic

Bridget said...

Thank you, Aileen. I like your interpretation of the name.