How I Met Donna - Poem by Charlotte Ballard
Around January - a computer club member shows me how to log into the BBS. He has a gentle voice and hands. Likes cats and kids. I have one and he had the other.
Around February-we talk of love in brushed bits, and Donna brings herself in the middle trying to bribe him with sex and grandkids. I rush away, unable to fight. I don't know if I belong.
Around March- Donna snaps the napkin across his lap like she could snap herself back into his life. My chest tightens, and I know that this is a battle that I must win, even if it costs me my freedom.
Around April-Donna promises everything to her husband and to you, wanting you and him, leaving me with nothing. I pretend that this is normal, and laugh off the suggestion.
Around May - He tells me that Donna will be in his life, and to get used to it. I swear to myself that I will be nice to her, and break that promise when Donna calls me at my job and I have to hang up on her four times before she'll stop calling me. I am so angry I can't touch or be touched.
Around June- Donna offers free housecleaning, but no sex, if he'll claim her back in his life...but he refuses the known, and takes on another teenager not yet a teen.
Around July- Donna asks my husband to fix the lights on her travel trailor, coming 600 miles to ask him, and bringing her new fiancé along. My daughter whispers it to me under my bedroom door, and I hide in my neighbor's house until she's gone.
Around August- her emails are flirty and chatty, and she pretends that I am not there. My husband responds business like, what can I do for you ma'am. I'd be pleased if you didn't bother me at work, ma'am.
Around September - She claims that I've stolen what's mine, and that I must be deleting all her letters, for why else would he delay sending that sweet reply?
Around October - He wonders how he stayed with the fights, and the kids, and how one set fires, and one who can't read. My child becomes our child finially. Even with the surprises that always come when the money is the most tight. Even when she wants to color our life with purple lies that swallow the sky. Even then. Especially then.
Around November - Donna predicts that we will not last a year. I laugh 16 years later, when I remember this dire auger for his future. A year would not have been enough to learn the depth of his heart.
Around December-Donna buys our old satellite system with unkept promises. My husband says he knew she wouldn't. 'People who owe money never come around.' I laugh at his wisdom and I am glad that I stayed.
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