There are tears in her eyes
As the door slams and the glass rattles
And she watches his retreating back:
His tight, hunched shoulders
Containing his anger and frustration.
She sits and waits, chain-smoking
Cheap king-size cigarettes,
Wanting a cup of tea, but waiting
Until he comes home again
Calmer, like he always does.
This scene is familiar and she,
Like him, is word-perfect in her role
One she’d played for far too long.
She is bored and afraid; not of him
But of change and the unknown.
Later, she places a steaming cup of tea
At his elbow and forces a smile,
Her mind not on him, but upstairs
And the large, heavy suitcase
In their bedroom.
The scene is near-identical
To the ones they’ve played-out before,
But this time she’s gone from player
To director and changed the script.
This performance demands a different ending.
She will exit, stage left
And bow out of this production.
After eighteen years in the starring role
Of the long-suffering wife and mother
She is back in the market again.