Last Thursday Night

Poetry
Madeleine Claire


Photo Credit: Claudio Marinangeli/Flickr (CC-by)

Last Thursday Night

Do you remember what you told me
last Thursday night?
Rain battered the paint off our old pickup truck
as you drove on,
reminding us of another job that needed doing
that neither of us could afford.
You kept your eyes fixated on the road,
yet I was certain I could feel them on me,
criticising me, hating me.

Do you remember what you said?
Probably not.
What was one more comment
in our relationship where your disappointment
was practically writ on the browning wallpaper
of our apartment,
weaved into the threadbare stitching of our couch?
What was one blustery Thursday evening
in this world where time and days were counted
for monetary purposes only,
anxiously massaging hands
as we waited for the next paycheque,
counting how long we could last
on the next loan?

But I remember your words,
sharp as your wit had been when we had met,
back in the days when love had held us together
and not the common noose of debt around our scrawny necks.
“You’re a failure.”
Perhaps it was the worry of the rent
that we could no longer afford
that made you say it,
but the rain and the anxiety and the chugging of the truck
made a gluey knot that stuck to my heart.

I had failed.

We exited the car mutely,
the memory of a time that had once been
filled with our laughter
and lusting irises
silenced and erased
by the hand clenched around my vocal cords
and the hopelessness that pricked a tattoo of tears in my eyes.

I had failed.

I’ve been thinking about your words all week.
I have let the initial pain, like hot, choking syrup,
harden around the cavities in my chest,
maturing into something stronger.
Anger. Determination. Ambition.

Yes, I have failed.
I should not have spent my time driving secondhand pickups
or living in a dingy apartment.
I should not have been working three jobs
or eating reduced-priced, near-expiry-date meals.
I should not have been with you.

Perhaps you don’t remember last Thursday night,
but you will remember this Thursday evening
when I walk out our squeaky door
with my few belongings that you haven’t pawned away
to begin my new life.

Do you remember what you told me
last Thursday night?
It set me free.

pencil

Madeleine Claire is a young writer from Calgary, Canada. When not writing or reading, she can be found in the mountains getting inspiration for her next piece or simply climbing trees, and occasionally getting stuck in them, too! Email: madeleinee.claire[at]gmail.com

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