Posted by: carolyn / through a widow's eyes | March 2, 2012

well enough we know

you called today.

a rare treat.

i say hello

so casually

but i know it is you.

i know you call from your cell,

which means you’re on the highway,

or in some distant expense-account hotel,

or home.



you caught me unprepared to banter

which somehow makes it all the more delightful.

at times i have an inkling

i will hear from you,

or i have made some overture

(same story for decades).

but not today.


today, i am wide open.

all day i’ve been immersed

in emotionally-charged projects

heartbreaking, bulky, allergen-infused, filthy.

to counter-act that,

i am freshly showered: damp;

i’ve been drinking, though it is barely twilight,

and, as Anne Lamott would say,

i’ve smoked rather more pot

“than was strictly necessary”.


Our conversation is lovely, light, lilting. Affectionate but not dire, where we sometimes veer in vulnerable conditions. We share a bond we can’t explain, and trying makes it harder. We cover many serious subjects, as is usual in our rare stolen moments. I make you laugh with my Aquarian hippie girl ways and you tell me, again, all your most unattractive traits, as if that will make me not think of you daily, and your “dark head/ That never will be mine.” 

For many years I’ve connected you to the most breathtakingly erotic and sad poem I know, this wistful title line from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sonnet xii,

We talk of taxes, and I call you friend “

We make no plans to meet

or talk again.


We talk of taxes, and I call you friend;

Well, such you are, — but well enough we know

How thick about us root, how rankly grow

Those subtle weeds no man has need to tend,

That flourish through neglect, and soon must send

Perfume too sweet upon us and overthrow

Our steady senses; how such matters go

We are aware, and how such matters end…



  1. Erstwhile lover, upon reading: Wow, that’s putting it right out there.
    Me: Yeah, pretty much.

    Because that is how I roll. Been through too much not to. Been putting a lot of stuff “right out there” for quite a while now. Kinda who I am now. I know I’ve written elsewhere “We [widowed] are at the same time more compassionate and less willing to put up with bullshit. We cut to the chase. We say I love you. We forgive. Even ourselves.” Perhaps this post should be tagged with “so there’s that”. Oh. It already is.


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