Marne Wilson

What You Never Knew

After you left me, everything was fine.
I threw myself into my work.
I rededicated myself to my husband.
I even took up Pilates,
something I’d always hoped to make time for.

But what no one ever knew was worse.
I was secretly a wreck.
At work, every letter I sent for months bore a January date,
as if time had stopped on the last day I was yours.
I attached myself to my husband’s side
because I couldn’t bear the thought of being alone.
Even the Pilates was a lie,
as I only attended one memorable session.

Everything went smoothly until the cooldown,
when “After the Love Has Gone” came over the sound system.
I must have heard the song before,
but for the first time each word spoke deeply to me.
My body still going through the motions of the routine,
I sobbed uncontrollably in full view
of a dozen very uncomfortable women.
Fifteen years later, they are still the only others
to witness any of the tears I’ve shed over you.


Running for the Hills

There are an infinite number of ways
to send a man running for the hills,
but I seem determined to do the calculus involved
and approach the limit.

I think the hills must be an interesting place to visit,
full of handsome but confirmed bachelors
nervously biting their fingernails
and looking over their shoulders.

Of course, no girls are allowed there,
so I shall never know.


Marne WilsonMarne Wilson grew up in North Dakota and now lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia.  Her poems have appeared widely, most recently in Steam TicketEmrys Journal, and FreezeRay.  She is the author of a chapbook, The Bovine Daycare Center (Finishing Line, 2015).


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