Judy, Age 41

— Judy Sandretto

I rested in my chair
after an ordinary day.
My husband was next to me.
“His and Hers” recliners.
The round table between us
held two glasses of wine and an ashtray.

The dinner dishes were in the kichen behind me
and waiting to be washed.
I asked my husband once if he thought
he was too good to wash dishes.
He said yes.
He meant it.

“Do you enjoy being a martyr?”
my therapist asked me one afternoon
when I told her about that.
I never saw the therapist again.
Not that one anyway.

Sitting in my chair that night
and watching “Wheel of Fortune”
I was thinking about work the next day
and how the days ran together.

The days ran together then.

I sighed and lifted my right arm
resting my hand on my breast
and there it was.
Something so large it felt like
a walnut beneath my skin.

Oh my God.

I sunk into the soft leather
and pulled my knees up to my chest.
Fetal position.

I knew my life would never be the same
and my husband was hugging me.

One thought on “Judy, Age 41

  1. Wow! The poem starts out with scene that unfolds every day in almost every home, but that end, my goodness, was such a blow to me!The devastating turn at the end reminds me of Auden’s famous poem: "About suffering they were never wrong,The old Masters: how well they understoodIts human position: how it takes placeWhile someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along…"

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