The Future Perfect

 


ORIGINAL FULL VERSION:

 

There are certain certainties about every Monday:

you know the weekend will have come and gone,
next door will have washed his car and drowned
his contentment with a crate of cut-price lager;

the spinster with the limp will have gone to
church on Sunday and got no answer and will
have begun filling the long wait to try again;

seconds after arriving at work, fifty per cent
of all people round the world will have been
asked if they have had a good weekend;

eighty per cent of the fifty per cent will have
had an excellent weekend thank you and some
can’t wait any longer to tell you the details;

twenty per cent of the fifty per cent will not
have had an excellent or a good weekend but
have something good lined up for next weekend;

the fifty per cent who will not have been asked
have a number of options including asking if you
have had a good weekend or not giving a toss;

each weekend will have been like no other,
a new space for time, a new space for proximity,
or a space for friction to spark off proximity –

there will have been a new conflagration of rows
and loud words will have been shouted which
a child now sitting at a school desk will have heard;

that child will perhaps have seen some blows
or even felt some blows before being sent
upstairs to spend the rest of the weekend alone.

It’s as if everything that will have happened
at each weekend is the future perfect but every Monday
we only get the future imperfect, like a sick joke.

                                   .                     

 

SHORTER VERSION:

 

There are certain certainties about every Monday:
 
you know the weekend will have come and gone,
next door will have washed his car and drowned
his contentment with a crate of cut-price lager;
 
the spinster with the limp will have gone to
church on Sunday and got no answer and will
have begun filling the long wait to try again

each weekend will have been like no other,
a new space for time, a new space for proximity,
or a space for friction to spark off proximity –
 
there will have been a new conflagration of rows
and loud words will have been shouted which
a child now sitting at a school desk will have heard;
 
that child will perhaps have seen some blows
or even felt some blows before being sent
upstairs to spend the rest of the weekend alone.

It’s as if everything that will have happened
at each weekend is the future perfect but every Monday
we only get the future imperfect, like a sick joke.

                                              .

© Nemo 2019
Views: 239
critique and comments welcome.

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Guajiros
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I prefer the shorter version, it’s tight and hard hitting. Both are very true but the longer version drags out the agony. Best to let the reader imagine his own nightmares. IMO of course.

Sweetwater
Member

I liked them both, the first one I felt I became part of their world and was drawn in to know more, like a good book.
The second was as enjoyable but there was less of the drawing in, more of a news broadcast.
Basically one was a story, the other was factual. Personally I liked the first one best. Sue.

Gothicman
Member

I prefer the longer version too, Gerald. A sad and sensitive, dysfunctional family problem; domestic violence that needs to be aired and described at length. Skilled writing.
Best, Trevor

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