Two Poems

Ruth M. Malins


He can’t remember
how they fit together,
the curve of each other,
the crook of his arm—
a haven for her.
He can’t remember
the way she swallowed down
his easy comfort
or the snow,
a lace handkerchief
in her hair.
He can’t remember
his own name today.



She wants to stop the pain
that makes her fold into herself
like an old woman,
so many small injuries
bleeding into one another,
she hangs onto them
the way wet fingers
stick to an icicle,
her hopes flattened out
years ago, crushing her
with their weight,
her features fold,
face melting into hands,
her eyes curtain over.

“I am a 58-year old environmental educator. I recently began painting and writing. I am having the time of my life!” E-mail: RuthHVA[at]

The Dinner Dance

Ruth M. Malins

She stirs,
savoring the aroma of
homemade stew
simmering on the stove.
The two children chatter
at the kitchen table set for four.
A door slams shut.

He glares at her
turns his back
slaps his paycheck on the table.
She dare not
let him see her pain
so she peels another onion.

He staggers
out of the kitchen
kicking the cat as she passes
muttering under his breath
as he makes his slow descent
down the cellar stairs
where he’ll drink his supper

Later, she huddles with the children on the sofa.
There are monsters in the closet
in the shadows
in the darkness—
but the most terrifying
is the one
who is, mercifully,
passed out on the bed.


“I am a 57-year old environmental educator, working for a nonprofit organization. I just began writing poetry after a 40-year hiatus. I also enjoy creating visual art.” E-mail: RuthHVA[at]