for the children
by t. zoEy benally

"our relationship has elements of domestic violence that we are both responsible for." that is what she has told herself since her hair was styled in a short bob, since she only had her high school diploma, since she had never been anywhere except these small grey towns in the northeastern corner of dine bi keyah. this was her explaination for the strained relationship, strange behavior seived through flour sacks. she loathed herself and he loathed himself. they were two worms living off the others too few green leaves gathered at places of business. each trying to save the other from themselves, trying to make the other a better man--woman. never satisfied, never happy, wasted earth rotations, imprisoned in the other's shadow they stayed together "for the children."


Anonymous said...

And did it do the children any good, or only show them a way of life less than optimum ?

Sometimes the children are a little glue that holds things together until the cracks mend and the relationship turns good again, but sadly it doesn't work out that way often.


velma said...

i'll never forget the day my mom and dad finally split up. i asked her why now? why after all these years, when it was finally going well, she was finally deciding to leave? her response to me, i haven't loved him in a long time. i don't know when it stopped. i felt more betrayed than he, and asked why she (because i didn't believe her) even stayed, if she was this much of a bitch, why did she continue to stay with someone she didn't love? her answer to me was exactly this, 'for our children.'

this has left me confused and embittered for about 10 years now. i know it wasn't what she meant. i love them both, and now i feel that i was a contribution to their unhappiness. i was the glue that kept them together. and, initially, it made me hate my life more.

i still don't know how to feel. but, at least i can't deny her love for me. choices. choices are tough.

this is a beautiful piece.