What sort of a marriage is this? She hasn’t 

spoken to me all day. I’ve started to blame myself: 

something I’ve said must be responsible for 

those tears. And when I speak she doesn’t answer; 

she just looks disconsolate. Her behaviour 

is atypical, hard to fathom; for years 

we’ve got on well, with few disputes. Then this. 

And why does she put our displayed photographs 

in a drawer, prepare lunch only for herself, pick 

at her food like a lovesick teenager? I try 

to cheer her, but she’s beyond reason, inarticulate, 

inscrutable. This is ironic conduct for one 

who spent time yesterday in church, though 

what she was doing there – it being a Tuesday –  

she has not said. “Look,” I say, “be reasonable. 

Tell me what’s bothering you.” But she rises, without 

answering, and walks through me to the kitchen. 

from Wowsers (Seren, 2002), © Paul Groves 2002, used by permission of the author

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