At sixty Melvyn married a thirty year old,
A Phillipino woman from islands scattered by Melanesian gods,
Green jewels across the Pacific sea.
In a provincial village,
Pigs snuffling compost heaps, thatched huts, barefoot boys,
They said I do.
But it didn’t work out.
Sixty year old men are often grumpy (especially Melvyn)
And his wife came to prefer the company
Of her sisters and their hordes of children.
Travelling by motorbike,
Collecting payments on mortgages lent from Melvyn’s savings,
Overnights turned into overweeks
Until one day she left the house and never came back.
“Where is she?” Melvyn asked one of the sisters.
“Gone,” she answered. “Better get used to it.”
Easier said than done.
Though he knew she didn’t love him
The drug of her half willing body was like heroin.
For months he stayed up half the night, sick with longing.
Now he’s here,
Across from me at the table,
Chewing the bitter cud of rancor.
“Bitch,” he says. “Gold digger.”