by Lisa Blumberg
My college friend Helen had a husband
who after the baby came never slept with her.
It was always tonight, tomorrow night, the night after.
Stealthily for years, a one woman man,
He, at his choosing, declared game over
And moved in down the street with his mistress.
Helen mothers her son with abandon
yet seems so obscurely spinsterish,
with a dull, indelible hurt,
that tinges everything for her,
but otherwise distracts no one.
I walked awkwardly due to happenstance of birth.
Then in adolescence, doctors made it worse.
My gait is in your face and all over the road.
Stagger, stagger, stumble, stumble,
very slow steps, and not far apart
and sometimes a lurch so a dog will bark.
Helen is ardor vanquished.
I am merely ardor cloaked.
Physical unseen, physical seen.
It is only a trick
that when together we are out,
I am the one that people feel free
to ask questions about.
Lisa Blumberg is a corporate lawyer and freelance writer. Read her articles Deja Vu and Playing Cards at Boston Children's Hospital.