Division of Assets

The division of assets is nearly complete —
the house, furniture, investments, car.
You get the ping pong table
     I get the lawn mower.
You, the Bruce Willis DVDs
     I, the bread-maker.
You, the collection of miniature trains
     I, the budgie and cage.

And as for our arsenal of weapons? Our history of war?
What say you keep the arguments you won
     I’ll keep mine?
You take the whetstone you sharpened your words on
     I’ll take the kiln for my heated retorts.
You keep your stealth bombs
     I’ll take my land mines
and as for the cloud of silence
that’s mushroomed between us,
let’s say we leave it in No Man’s Land.

But what of our happy memories? How to divide?
Should you get the smell of our baby’s head
     I, his first smile?
You, the way he messily ate his mash
     I, our trips to the zoo?
And what about bath time — our son on the tiles
in the damp white flag of his towel?

Marianne Musgrove (South Australia)


  1. Great poem Marianne.

  2. This is heartbreakingly brilliant, with that touch of humour that can only come from the darkest regions of the human heart. The baby in a white towel makes for a powerful visual of surrender. This is a classic.


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