Patti Masterman

The Secret Lives Of Others - Poem by Patti Masterman

When I was just a child, they were just a married couple;
Older, middle-aged, nothing distinguishing about them at all.
I loved swimming in their swimming pool,
Until they upsized, to a glitzy neighborhood of rambling,
Ranch-style houses.
And they upscaled, to exotic, foreign vacations.
Brought me back a Hawaiian volcanic stone, with emerald flecks,
A salt and pepper shaker set from Israel.

She was a clothes horse, always kept her figure,
Dressed slinky but classy, for an old babe;
Visibly stood taller, if another woman
Ever complimented her clothing or style-
And they invariably did.

My dad said that when alone with her husband,
That man would brag about daily blowjobs
From his office receptionist, at the end of the workday
Before going home. I was older then, tried to imagine
How the shared exchange could have furthered
Some ancient, nightly excavated ambition?

Alone with her once, my dad said he made an innuendo,
Some playful joke which he had since forgotten the point of,
Probably due to the more stunning reaction it caused.
He had always loved teasing with words,
But he said that she had dropped all suggestion of pretense,
And she had told him then, You couldn't handle it..
He still chuckled about it, long after the fact.

Funny how for all those years, what I remembered seeing
Was a mostly colorless couple
Who always drove large Cadillacs.
And how in the later years, he could only move
While tethered to his oxygen tank,
Though it never hindered his smoking.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010

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