Once I romanced a married woman.
My excuse that I thought she was divorced
rang hollow as I saw him
drop off their children at the cafe
where we met. Where she worked.
We both scrambled to fill voids
in the lives we lived
and break the hidden curses
that thwarted the pursuit
of our own happiness.
It was not a connective smile
on a chance meeting,
but months of conversations
over tea, over chess
the small hole in her red wool scarf.
January was not so cold
as in years past
and the dream of better lives
shocked our dreary truths
with electric hope.
It did not last long. A week. Ten days.
Neither of us could turn away
from traditional societal expectations.
Fidelity to commitment—
to children, if not her husband.
copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney