The Geographer's Wife
Pity the poor geographer’s wife
Who spends most of her life
Missing him in every isthmus,
Desert, mountain, valley
He’s had the pleasure to explore.
He claims it’s not his fault—
The field takes him away,
Draws him east, west, north, and south
At a moment’s notice—
Often in the middle of the night
While she rises from their tiny bed,
And he packs a bag of silence
Only a secret can keep.
He swears she knew about his desire—
The longing to touch air, land, sea—
This need to leave a piece of himself
Wherever he can, survey
The climatic conditions of an earth so vast
He can barely comprehend it all.
When she timidly asks,
Upon each of his returns,
How it is they cannot travel together—
Why he will not share his life’s work—
He struggles so with his words,
She retreats to her ball of yarn
To darn yet another sock,
Steady herself for the week
They have before his next departure.
Ah, yes, pity the poor geographer’s wife
Who watches the house grow
More and more around her every day.