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Expectation Management

When my fiancé left for the war
Which is still going on
I prepared increasingly elaborate foods
I made
pork chop mashed potato coleslaw green tomato

When he did not call
Or the call did not go well
Or he did call, 5 in the morning, about to go
I made
apple cake pumpkin pie raisin cookie peach jelly

When he killed his
First, third, fifth
And could not tell me details
I made
bread from scratch buttercream little sweet meringues

Into the strange strained silence
Of another lonely night
Far from the end
I poured
flour sugar baking soda honey cinnamon vanilla

I made a heart-shaped cake
With raspberries out of season
Ate with my hands
Kept on living
Made a reason.  

Mary White holds a Masters degree in English from Texas Tech University, where she specialized in fiction writing. She currently teaches English at Collin College. Her work has appeared previously in The Nottingham Review and Foliate Oak.