Ellen’s Status – John Grey

She was the one who broke up the relationship,
and over a plate of his favorite
blueberry pancakes, overdosed with maple syrup.
Now she has her eye on someone at the office.
So what if he doesn’t notice her.
It’s better to have loved and lost
than kiss a man who tastes of trees.

Her apartment reminds her too much of her ex
so she’s thinking of moving,
down south if that part of the country will have her.
She longs for more sky than New England can provide,
and oranges like miniature suns.
So what if Florida’s tacky.
And, instead of her comfortable furniture,
she’s stuck with cheap rattan.
And the walls in every room are pink,
the color that makes her want to puke.
So what if the so-what’s keep adding up.

She buys a bikini
even though the local summers are hobbit-short.
It fits her well enough
and make her feel younger
She wears it around her rooms
as a protection against loneliness.

She seldom visits the local beaches
but swears to herself
that if he ever moved to where
the beach was hot and broad and sanded gold,
she’d never leave.
She might even go into the water up to her waist.
Her favorite move as a child was “The Little Mermaid.”
She would be Ariel, heart halfway between sea and shore.

Now she wonders if she should have ended the relationship.
He was good for her despite his uninhibited sweet tooth.
And though not as dreamy as that guy in the office
he was kind and considerate and reliable.
Nothing Ariel would have left her briny home for.
But comforting, like “It’s A Wonderful Life”, her other favorite film.


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JOHN GREY is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.


Image: Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

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