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    BWS Stories - "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"...Marriage

    "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"...Marriage - Frost

    Meredith Karen Laskow, a poet and essayist with "a decent amount" of publication credits, is the Poet Laureate of Placentia (California) Library District She makes her living as a jewelry artist, and also teaches a free weekly holistic exercise class for breast cancer survivors.


    A rare Southern California frost advisory
    is ominously intoned in television and radio newscasts.
    As the cold front gusts down from Canada,
    listeners are warned to keep pets indoors,
    cover flowering plants,
    set smudge pots around fruit trees.
    Some areas in higher altitudes
    are already receiving snow.

    My husband screams
    unleashes rapid-fire artillery of epithets and accusations
    and elevates a small misunderstanding
    into a full-fledged battle.
    He is unwilling to forgive or forget,
    forever fighting a war which should have ended twenty years ago.
    I’m tired of being target practice
    bullet-scarred from standing up to temper tantrums and tirades
    so I ignore the latest military onslaught
    and play computer games instead.

    Later that evening we are still not speaking
    so I once again seek sanctuary in the computer
    and read poetry until he drifts into sleep.
    When I finally crawl into bed
    room temperature has fallen below 60
    and the sheets feel like frozen tundra.

    Usually instinct draws living creatures closer together
    to generate and preserve precious body heat
    but we remain ensconced on opposite sides of the mattress,
    shivering despite two blankets in the chill night air.

    It’s going to be a long, cold winter.

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