The Perennial Loser

His wife referred to him as
the perennial loser.
His investments soured,
his business bellied up,
he grew so heavy you could hear
his labored breathing
each time he crossed the room.

When finally she left him
his life took on
a permanent shade of grey
He barely had the energy
to change his clothes.
The dishes piled up, unwashed.
Disconsolate, he wrote
a poignant farewell note
and placed it near the phone.

The next day,
coming to collect her things,
she read the note and found
the empty jar of laxatives
next to the sleeping pills.

From the bathroom came
what sounded like
the desperate groans
of a dying animal.
Deciding she would stay a while,
she put on her gingham apron
and began to tidy up.

(originally published in Twisted Endings)

 

laxative

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