As I opened my eyes to the day, she called.
He’d been up all night drinking,
her friend cowered under the kitchen table,
her new friend Marguerite,
who had nowhere else to go.
He pushed her, he slapped her hand.
Drive away, I said,
go to your grandmother’s.
But she’s afraid he might do something,
she’s afraid he’ll go to work.
He’s outside naked
wandering up the road.
Now he’s coiling the hose around his neck.
We sit on another island,
our stomachs turn to stone.
Our house is one hundred years old.
A Garry oak tree out back
fans out over the morning light
in a halo of pink and orange.
Evergreens shelter us from the north wind.
I brush back the yellow silk curtain,
where the dog chewed the bottom corner,
the dog, so beautiful, but not above eating drywall.
Not above leaping to the counter
and snatching the packet of salmon.
These troubles occupied my mind
before she called and reminded me
that I didn’t have problems,
only a silky dog, yellow curtains
and a lack of dinner plans.
We get on the ferry and drive back,
look out for her, for signs,
but she has left,
driving him home,
driving Marguerite to the bus stop.
She comes back. Hours pass.
She wants to see him, but we won’t give her the keys.
I have to see him, she said, as the cab drove away.
This is about love, she said.
You don’t understand.