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The fragility of marriage

From my book, Severe Silence (

He was sitting on the couch and talking.

I could see he was depressed.

As he spoke, he began to put on his socks;

thin, turquoise men's socks.

I watched, noticing the design, what kind of toe they had.

He had one sock on and while putting on the second,

noticed some imperfection.

Calmly he removed both socks and threw them into the fireplace.

One landed on a burning log

and immediately began to flare and glow.

The second landed farther to the side

and suffered for a while until it too began to smolder.

I felt cruel, watching, fascinated as the socks burned,

each in its own way.

These burning socks are like our marriage,

I thought, still calmly watching.

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