When I See Them Passing By  

by Daisy Zamora
translated from Spanish by George Evans 

When I see them passing by I sometimes ask myself: What must
they feel, the ones who decided to be perfect and keep their marriages
afloat against all odds no matter how their husbands turned out
(party animal womanizer gambler troublemaker
loud-mouthed violent head banger lunatic weirdo slightly abnormal
neurotic obsessive clearly unbearable
dumbbell deadly boring brute insensitive grubby
egomaniacal ambitious disloyal politicker crook traitor liar
rapist of daughters torturer of sons emperor of the house
tyrant everywhere) but they put up with it
and God only knows what they suffered.

When I see them passing by so dignified and aged
their sons and daughters gone from the house leaving them alone
with a man they once loved (perhaps he’s calmed down
doesn’t drink hardly talks spends his time with TV
walks in slippers yawns falls asleep snores wakes up early
is ailing half-blind harmless almost childish) I ask myself:

Do they dare imagine themselves widows dreaming some night they
are free
and coming at last without guilt back to life?