The Colour of Jealousy


Peter, bewildered,
stood from his seat
in the rapidly

He hadn’t seen Thom or Sylvia
in a month
and now he wouldn’t likely see them
ever again.

He did watch his ex-wife
his Janine
who he’d promised to love for all time
swagger out of the courtroom
with her lawyer.

She stopped at the door
slowing all in her wake
and turned eyes
of triumph
on his.

Her mouth a white line
she turned and left the sudden silence.


But I didn’t cheat on you
I could never do that

Her eyes flashed.

Then how did that lipstick,
red lipstick,
get on your collar?
You never liked me wearing it.
How can you explain that?

I can’t.
There has to be some other explanation.
Janine, please believe me.


Janine shook with anger
when she saw it
as she shuddered back
from the yawning mouth
of the washing machine.

A red smudge
bright on Peter’s collar.
He’d worn it to work today.
He’d even worn it in church the day before.

Tears sprang to her eyes.
And other matters sprang in her mind.
Explanations for his tiredness.
Lateness at work.

How could he do this to her? To the kids?


Peter picked up Thom
though he was getting too heavy
and tried to concentrate on the homily.
The speakers up in the balcony weren’t
as good but the kids
weren’t as distracting.

Thom hugged his Dad
His little, sweaty hands,
one clutching a thick red crayon,
crushing into his Dad’s clothes.
He liked the smell of his Dad.

Then he wrenched around,
reached down,
bent over
and was set down.
Back to filling in the big heart
in his colouring book.


2 thoughts on “The Colour of Jealousy”

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