The End of the System-Mistress
Retired today – not to leave the mistress
For my wife – the mistress long since gone – at least for now –
But more because they forced me on to love,
Their foreign way,
My wife of well-nigh forty happy years.
We shared the system-mistress, they and I
Across a boundary drawn
Through times long past by customs wide-diverging.
We’d made it work -- and found a way
To move her on then serve us well
Despite her imperfections.
But systems stronger than the one we shared
Were always wandering by with careless boots
Dictating when and how and who to love, or not,
Regardless of the deep and longing eyes
Or desperation’s plight before our door.
So here today – a system firm and funded
Careened from nowhere ’cross the polished floor
Brief bumped another, joining weight towards me
“to love her when you’re gone, you must withdraw
And bide your leave on future-running dole”.
He’d pulled me from that car before they hit
When former systems crashed and whirled and roared.
They’d cut the funds to halt my further action
But life continued, dazed, much as before
Detached, empowered to love without restriction.
Mere shell they hit, as I cashed in
My chips from earlier days
A laugh, a shrug, a gentle hug –
‘We’ll find another way’.