Tuesdays

Tuesday afternoon
ruffled through her assorted loneliness
like so many Tuesday predecessors.
Mondays made sadness understatements
while salvation lived at the end of the week
but it was always a Tuesday
that would
end it.

Alone with the same problems
the same solutions
the same little bottle of assassins.
A brittle childlike blinkered view
betrayed by
her strong adult grip,
press and twist,
let those drops of freedom loose.

A thought passed by
as though it might escape
but as it paused playfully
she grabbed it like a slow butterfly
turned it over
considered it
without perceiving the beauty,
the alternative it offered.

Who would care?

A deep handful
swallowing the question with them
washing them down
with a single, long, slow gulp of Jack
sending them off to calm her agony
to quiet the noise.

Who would care now?

So many Tuesdays
waiting for someone to care
Friday was for music
Saturday was for sex
Sunday was for church
Monday was for regret
Tuesdays she needed someone to care
Tuesday always came but
Not a voice
Not a cuppa
Not a single hug
Not one listening ear

Patch nuzzled
His warm fur brushing skin
at a torn denim knee
then crawled in his own time
to her lap, then arms.
Head to her neck
his motor running.
So often it had been enough.
Not this last Tuesday.

Eyes stinging
she sleeved the regret away
looked across the brown river bend
took an unintended lean back
against Grandpa’s favourite river gum
The sneaky beginning of the afternoon breeze
kissed her gently goodbye.
Swish
Swallow
Gulp
Whisky burp

Closing her eyes on trouble,
her breathing slowing,
she started the long sleep
other Tuesdays had promised.

She was gone by dusk
Didn’t hear Pop Pethybridge ride up the paddock
didn’t see her neighbour’s tears
hear his sobs
his old soul breaking.
Couldn’t accept his distraught apology,
uttered through uncharacteristic cursing
crouching there by Jimmy’s tree ...
… for not checking on her earlier
He knew she hated fucking Tuesdays.

She sat there in the last rays,
freshening breeze moving her hair,
brushing her face,
tidying her quiet smile,
peaceful
free.

Copyright Peter Langston 2019