When my parents were together,
over 40 years,
my mother would never remember their anniversary.
My dad would come in having worked a 10-hour shift
in the tire shop.
He’d be holding a specially chosen bouquet in his hand,
and she’d be doubly surprised.
Now that they are still legally married but not together,
she points out her anniversary on the wall calendar
a month ahead of time.
He hasn’t divorced her because he’s always been the provider
wants to be sure she’ll get the insurance pay out when he dies.
Wants there to be no questions about that.
She wants to pretend that her feelings for him are gone.
But when I tell her months after the fact
that he fell from a ladder at work and injured himself badly,
she scolds me for not having told her sooner.
I ask why, pointing out that there was nothing
she could have done to help him.
She skulks and says, “You just should have.”