can’t trust the rice

he is almost inarticulate
in his fury

almost desperate
in his need
to chastise her

how many times
have I said

when you’re cooking
you can’t
you mustn’t
do anything else

how many times



she said

I thought
both of you were right there
surely you would know
when the rice
needed to be stirred

to be taken off
the flame

why does it have to be
my fault


he approaches me
wheezing and breathless
from the exertion
and the expenditure
of so much emotion

what am I going to do
with her

I can’t trust her
with anything


she approaches me
eyes a little glazed
to have a private
perhaps a sympathetic

I forget so much
these days

today I got distracted
by the washing

he seems to need
so much
to get angry with me

I do my best


all right
all right

let’s just calm down now
no more yelling

the rice is burnt
but no one has been harmed
you’re both ok

the saucepan will be cleaned

the smell will clear

you’ll eat a different meal
than you had planned

this afternoon
you rest

both of you

I’ll come back

and we’ll start again

hoo roo
till then

© Frank Prem, 2016

Poem #26: artist enough


7 thoughts on “can’t trust the rice

    • Yes, it’s a difficult process of change and adaptation and loss and anger but also support and mutual care. Much of the ire directed at the other arises from worry about/for them, rather than actual anger.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was so afraid this was going to result in violence. Glad that didn’t happen. Terry and I aren’t to that point yet, but sometimes I see a glimmer of our future together when one or both of us fails to control our irritation with things that can’t be helped–hearing loss, forgetfulness, distractibility. We work on purpose to disallow anger over these facts of life, which no young couple starting out expects to experience. I really like this one, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

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