Fire The Butler (poem)

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10 thousand you told her
when you covered your tracks
10 thousand was the number she 
rattled off to me over a static phone line

I stood in the battering wind
my device pressed hard to my ear
trying to understand the significance
and depth of your lie
as well as your flagrant disregard for me

Did you ask him for 10 thousand
the gears in my head were working overtime
what do I say? What had you done?
10,9,8,7,6
No, I didn’t I replied
5,4,3,2,1

two truths smacked me as it whipped
through the lifeline pressed against my face
around the tall library off to my right
The first, you cheated on her
the second, I was your scapegoat
the poor boy, the sometimes desperate
and you – your money and your lies
entitled you to a
Flieschman’s Whipping boy
i denied any wrong doing, any involvement,
I knew nothing of the 10 thousand

Antagonism reached my ears
as the line disconnected
staring at the device like it was a snake
I texted you a question
Dude – what the fuck – tell a brother
Silence
silence
A reply

I’ll talk to you when I can face my shame
you’d said
I haven’t heard a word from you since
That’s okay – its cool
I saw your woman a year or so later
she proudly showed me her ring
and forgot her words before she’d hung up

I noticed the desperation in her eyes
even though the diamond was her truth
it didn’t convince her of what had gone on
her gaze was frantic as she begged me to respond appropriately
silently we communicated what we knew
but polite society prevented it from tumbling out

I knew my place, I knew my role
as I walked through the mall with my meager gifts
bought with hard earned money
we passed each other in a book store
you couldn’t even look at me
I watched you walk away into your lie
and I with my scars and pretty paper wrapped Christmas gifts
the pauper fired the Butler

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