(Photo of Nan Kuhlman)
“Somebody needs to try.”
“Somebody needs to give more.”
“Somebody needs to quit nagging.”
“Somebody needs to take out the trash.”
“Somebody needs to drive more carefully.”
“Somebody needs to be more politically correct.”
“Somebody needs to bake cookies for the school.”
“Somebody needs to care for the homeless and poor.”
“Somebody needs to exercise, eat right, and look sexy always.”
“Somebody needs to make sure Social Security doesn’t run out.”
“Somebody needs to clean the dust bunnies behind that bookcase.”
“Somebody needs to teach our young people to read and write well.”
“Somebody needs to reduce our taxes and pay off the federal deficit.”
“Somebody needs to listen to those who think differently than they do.”
“Somebody needs to realize that all people are more alike than different.”
Somebody needs me to get busy.
Sickening sweet smells surround me;
the waxy presence of lilies a fitting tribute.
Long lines at my visitation murmur their shock and sadness,
wishing to console my wife of nearly fifty years.
I hear them tell her what an honorable man I was.
Her eyes are wet with tears, though I’m not sure if it’s
grief or relief.
She bows her head and says, “It is what it is.”
She may be remembering the blackened eye.
It happened during yardwork, she told everyone,
A wayward branch forcefully striking her face,
leaving her filled with fear and loathing.
Other invisible hurts over the course of a lifetime
were never spoken of, just neatly filed in a folder labeled
“Our Marriage,” and put in the back of the cabinet
where no one ever looks,
where no one wishes to see.
© Nan Kuhlman
Bio: Nan Kuhlman is the mother of three adult children and has been married for over thirty years. After homeschooling her children through graduation, she decided that she loved watching people learn, so she teaches academic writing at community colleges and universities. She loves to write about relationships and our common human connection. You can find more by Nan at Parent.co or trinityandhumanity.com.