Friday, November 23, 2012

"Tone of Voice"

I’m okay, fine   
she whispers without eye contact   
I’ve got it handled   
Don’t worry   
He misses the hollowness of her words   
overlooks her subtle cues—   
her Woman Speak   
She tucks her feet onto the couch,   
pulls herself into a tight ball under a red throw   
stares at the television without seeing   
sighing deeply    
Oblivious, he flips the channel     
to his station   
all’s right   
content to listen to her words   
instead of her tone of voice   
Her annoyance and sadness battle across her features   
surreptitiously, she wipes her silent tears   
waits for him to notice her heaviness   
His attention rivets on the game   
its motion mesmerizes him   
takes him away and isolates her   
She grabs hold of anger over sorrow   
indignation throws her off the couch   
propels her into their bedroom   
fuels the door slam   
He sits with bewilderment   
Cautiously, he approaches the closed door   
tentatively tapping   
Can I do something?   
No. I’m okay, fine     
I’ve got it handled   
Don’t worry   
He opens the door anyway   
pulls her into his arms   
In tenderness, he wipes the tears from her face   
We’ll handle it   
he soothes and reassures with understanding   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

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