‘We should really address the elephant in the room.’
Those were the words you tossed out over coffee,
like spare change or old candy wrappers,
bits of pieces you were bored with carrying around
and deposited on my living room table
between the books and the plant pots.
There didn’t seem to be much point explaining,
your elephant wasn’t in this room,
or hadn’t been until you kicked up dust clouds
into a grey silhouettes.
I kept my silence on the matter,
much like you had kept yours until now,
too cautious about the fall out,
about how you might have to hold me together
when all the pieces broke apart
and ran for the corners in the skirting,
white mice abandoning ship
at the first sign of storms.
I let you think you were the only one
holding out a hand,
while you explained why I was sad
and how it could all be fixed
if I tired hard enough
and put in the work.
You can learn how to listen to the some speeches
without really hearing them.
It’s the same trick you used each time I tried
to put shadows into sentences,
when the doors opened enough
that I could see you were there.
So I nodded
and I pretended
that all this helped me some,
and then I let you leave smiling like a hero
while I went back to face the storms.
Written as a response to Diana W Peach’s speculative fiction prompt. I was going to write a piece of flash fiction for the prompt of a short story, but this poem so of found its way out instead.