THE MAN WHO DIDN’T LOVE ME

The man who didn’t love me was

The father of my sons,

All born back in the sixties,

When our lives had just begun;

I allowed to be instructed,

And dominated by this man,

Who, despite unfinished schooling,

Thought he knew it all—but then…

As years went by, I worked and grew

And relished having sons;

I treasured having recipes—

As a cook, I’d just begun.

The man who didn’t love me

Critiqued my every meal—

I strived in vain to please him,

And provide meals with male appeal.

Of course, I couldn’t please him–

Unless I served him in the buff,

For, his obsession wasn’t dinner,

For him, that was not enough.

To have a man dislike you, and

Distrust all that you did—

Not to be respected –well,

I kept emotions hid.

Back home, I knew, that most men were

Exactly like this man,

They cheated on their women and

Got all that they demand.

Of course, it couldn’t last—you know,

I’m shocked it last at all –

And after a silver anniversary,

This marriage took a fall.

But I found my consolation

In the children I had raised,

Imperfect, though I loved them,

As men I was amazed.

Two were their father’s image,

In thought and word and deed,

Two were their mother’s image,

The sons I could believe.

**

But the man who really loved me

Paid the price for number one –

I’d never fully give myself,

With marriage, I was done.

But the man who really loved me

Showed his love in many ways,

And we spent those years together

In the autumn of our days—

Not until his life was over

And I found myself alone,

Did I know I really loved him,

But I never could atone –

I’m looking now, at the things

He built for us to share,

And I see the tribute of his love,

Around me, every where.

Twenty-six years for the one,

Twenty six years for yet another –

The second never was a spouse –

But he was a faithful lover.

 

— Sandra Lee Smith

 

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