Bad Points

She weighted him up
Calmly, rationally,
Some may say with
Clinical detachment.

This was time
Allocated for him,
Sitting at the kitchen table,
Low lights hanging like a theatrical halo;
The paper glowed whiteness
The way she imagined bed sheets would
On her wedding night.

The pen was Fountain, Parker, gold-gilded,
A present from father for acing a half-remembered exam.

She drew a line down the middle that someone else
With hands less steady
Would have needed a ruler to craft.

First column had the heading ‘bad points’.
The second, inverse of that.

Bad points were dropped quick and fast.
Right at the top was the word ‘fat’
Followed by ‘balding’ and ‘bad posture’
Next came the traits ‘quick temper,
The inexplicable ease with which he gets lost,
Unsolicited midnight calls and text,
Inappropriate behavior at work,
Carelessness with personal health’

She wrote nothing under good points
For days.
Her mind was made up.
They could not be.
Yet being the careful scholar,
The student who never left a blank space in a test,
She slowly jotted these words down
With the weariness of a hostess welcoming last-minute guests,
The words were nothing special,
Only she had never portioned them to anyone
Outside the gates of her family:

Hassan Abdulrazzak

If you've any comments on this poem, Hassan Abdulrazzak would be pleased to hear from you.