He Could Never Learn Chess or Solitaire

Poem by sas,

winner of the Poetry Challenge “Infidelity,” April 2017:
He Could Never Learn Chess or Solitaire

We began our marriage in used aluminum,
not a double wide, as roominess wasn’t needed.
Just a few asbestos floor tiles separated us for years.
They weren’t stark black and white, but should have been.
Perhaps then he might have seen my checkmate move
made under his feet, before he laid over—without a fight.
I’ve left him with the pieces

for almost twenty years now. He kept them
set back up—to wait for me—to sit back down, as if I went
to fix make-up, or let the dog out. When the dog died
he freshened her water
I  buried her
in his backyard, under a headstone I chiseled that read—

She’ll Never-Ever Be Back


I’ve circled Detroit’s drain since 1944. It was a good place to form a cement backbone, although occasionally even mortar weeps. I hope I’ve wept more for others than myself. Except for a memorial poem for my parents, I neither read nor wrote poetry, until 2011. My poetry is for my granddaughters to someday read. I leave Cliff Notes for them, at the bottom; my life lessons. 


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