With her eye on the evening clock
And thirty minutes until dinner time,
She paused to survey the home scene:
Kettle refilled and switched on;
Kids doing homework;
Washing under way in the laundry;
Meat under the grill and vegetables in the microwave;
Table still to be set;
Life’s daily litter covering the living area, again.
The close of the front door and her husband’s call
Ended her momentary stillness.
He shucked off his workday dress as he entered.
A tie here,
A suit coat there,
His briefcase where they had agreed it would not go.
They had time for a peck,
The ritual, “How was your day?”
And a routine exchange over a cuppa
Before he retreated to the bedroom,
(A place where the memory of passion lingered like perfume).
Safe in the ensuite,
A no-go for children
(Smell overcame their need to invade his privacy),
He took the time to mentally debrief from his workday.
She had no such time;
It was always full-on
From the second she picked up the kids from after-school care.
Her evening with his help passed as usual:
Kids fed, bathed, TV, a story read before bed;
Table cleared, dishwasher stacked, the house restored;
Washing sorted, folded, and the next day’s clothing ordered;
An hour of companionable silence in front of the telly;
Before the night ended in petered out passion.
Mornings were about getting away:
The kids kept calm and on course for the school day;
Her husband, already focused on work,
Mindful that he had to get the kids into his car and keep them there;
An airbrush kiss to her in a rush.
Left alone to dress, she did so in a blink
(Long gone were the days
When she lost touch with time in the shower
Or took hours over her appearance).
A two car family now,
She was grateful
For the time a second car had bought.
She did her makeup whenever the traffic stopped at the lights,
Applied her lipstick in the parking lot,
Her workday began.
© Christine M Knight