Monday, March 12, 2018


He Did/She Did
He tosses branded products, conveniently at eye level,
into the shopping cart. She slips them back on the shelves
and bends or stretches to pick replacement unbranded goods.

His work wardrobe is three suits and six shirts.
Hers is crammed to bursting with cheap separates
that she can mix up to look like new outfits.

He suggests splitting the bills so he pays half
and she pays half. He earns twice what she makes,
so a greater proportion of her earnings go on bills.

His cellphone calendar is business meetings and Dodgers'
games. Hers is birthdays, relatives' health appointments,
children's playdates, shopping reminders and chores.

He slips his keys in his pocket to run to the store for milk.
She holds her keys in her hand, keeps her eyes down
but still hears wolf-whistles and gets told to smile.

His working day is uninterrupted and runs smoothly.
She runs errands in her break, takes calls from their son,
his school and cheers that soccer practice is cancelled.

They report being robbed. His statement is taken without question.
She's still trying to figure out the relevance of her skirt length
and heel height and why she gets asked what she was doing there.

He shrugs and asks what the fuss is about.
She puts on her pink hat, picks up her pink placard
and tells him she doesn't know when she'll be home.

 -     Emma Lee

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