He lives life at full throttle,
while I prefer it at one remove,
like a glimpse of the countryside
through the window of a fast train
when I glance up briefly from my book.
I shamble through the day,
turning up late because I left
my wallet in my other handbag,
drifting from one task to another
as the whisp of my attention is
blown about by a passing breeze;
he dots every i, crosses every t,
punishes stray apostrophes and
edits out all unruly grammar.
I can’t find the words for anything,
but it doesn’t matter because
he doesn’t listen; I’m going deaf
and I swear he mumbles on purpose.
Still, we bumble along somehow
like Stevenson and Modestine the donkey.
Sometimes he uses the goad, but then
I’m not too fond of the carrot;
but I can be cruel in my own way,
usually by simply ignoring him,
ambling or hurrying according to
my own private or nonexistent agenda.
But who’s to say which one of us
will cry the most when we finally
come to the parting of the ways?