Small Towns

Overheard from a lone-lamp lit open window, while walking past, a tired voice, on the phone, “hey, are you still driving?” leaks into the dusk, carried along with the scent of grass clippings in the street, and it’s a plea and a demand and an admission of defeat all at once, the story of a difficult day, of a breaking marriage, of things that never went quite according to plan, a sad tale the rest of the family casually metes out to the neighbors over the next few weeks, the subject of clucking tongues and shaking heads and begrudging commiseration, and, later, inevitably perhaps, satisfaction at the outcome, a validation of things always known but never stated, especially not to those involved. It is, after all, their personal business.