The confusion of divorce

I hear their hatred
for each other when they talk,
tell jokes, or stay silent.
Fourteen years and still not enough
time to let go of the hatred.

He jokes about her,
“Been there, done that,
“My first wife was like that,
I’ve had enough of that,”
but he doesn’t see
how it affects me.

She says,
“It was bad of him
to do that,
you need to tell him,
why would he do that.”
But should he be bad
in my eyes.

We’ll be at the doctor’s office,
another appointment for something, and one of them
can’t keep it in. “Remember that time you …”
and so it starts. “I remember it
this way …” and so it gets tangled. Money, fights,
how the other treats me — that’s where they fuel
their hunger for arguments.

Their hatred for each other seems to grow
each year, and it gets harder to shut it out,
to keep my own thoughts free
and clear of the hatred that infiltrates
their own opinions. I don’t want to hate my parents
because they hate each other. The confusion seeps into me,
like the hatred does for them.

I told her she needs to stop
putting down my dad
in front of me. I told him the same.
But the jokes, the screaming carries on.
I have to tell them how it hurts
me, in what position the hatred puts me,
how much stress it places upon me.
I hope they listen, I hope
they hear. I hope the hatred stops
or ceases to enter my ears.

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