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Suzanne O’Connell

When I Left

Dragon’s Egg by Dennis Blalock

When I left, I took two hard-boiled eggs.
My husband remained in bed,
naked as usual.
He asked what I was doing,
and I had no clear answer, except
I didn’t want the new couch anymore,
or the tree trimmer for the pepper tree,
or the pizza order for Friday night,
or the lunches he demanded I make
as if his hands suddenly became deformed—
unable to handle mustard and mayo.
Would our marriage have survived if
he made his own sandwiches?
What I did want
was to listen to the “White Album”
on endless replay
for inspiration and guidance.
But I didn’t take the album with me.

I remember talking to him
from a pay phone the next day.
I told him I’d rather risk being alone and lonely
than stay married.
After I hung up, I went to the lunchroom
with the linoleum-covered tables,
the refrigerator where some people
shopped for lunches not theirs,
the toaster oven,
the vat of coffee,
and the safety posters on the walls.
I sat at one of those old-timey tables,
and ate my two hard-boiled eggs.


About the writer:
Suzanne O’Connell’s recently published work can be found in Drunk Monkeys, Doubly Mad, El Portal, Flights, Ignatian Literary Magazine, Medicine and Meaning, Midwest Quarterly, The Opiate, Paterson Literary Review, Perceptions Magazine, Pine Hills Review, Rue Scribe, Silver Birch Press, Tulsa Review, Visitant Lit, Wrath-Bearing Tree, and others. She was awarded second place in the 2019 Poetry Super Highway poetry contest. O’Connell was also nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and received Honorable Mention in the Steve Kowit Poetry Prize, 2019. Her two poetry collections, A Prayer for Torn Stockings and What Luck, were published by Garden Oak Press.

Image: Dragon’s Egg by Dennis Blalock (contemporary). No medium specified. No size specified. By March 21, 2015. By free license.

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