Domestic Advice to a Divorced Friend

Domestic Advice to a Divorced Friend

Poem by Richard Allen Taylor
Photo by Beebe Barksdale-Bruner


Learn to cook. Yes, I know—mealtimes can be lonely
as closets, but you fall in love with waitresses
far too often (three times in one day once, very sincerely
each time). The breakfast girl seduces you with Eggs Benedict;
you feel like a traitor to the blond who served you
Veal Marsala the night before.

Learn to handle independence. Get organized.
Go easy on the booze and, for God’s sake,
clean out that refrigerator. All those re-sealed cartons and jars,
some untouched for a year. Look at this—the fossilized remains
of blue cheese dressing. Put a warning sign on the door.

Learn to iron, or tell friends you’re changing your image
to the macho rumpled look. And stop trying to fold
that damned fitted sheet. Yes, I know it can be done;
it was folded when you bought it, but I hate to see it
waft over the bed, only to fill with air
like a parachute and collapse into a different
amorphous wad each time. Folding it flat
is unnatural. A sheet-ball fits just fine in the closet.

refers to the word divorce in Dawn Corrigan’s short fiction piece Golden

  1. The last seven lines about the fitted sheet are wonderful, funny and poignant.

  2. Wonderful, funny and poignant is how I would also describe the author who I have happened to meet in person 🙂

  3. I love this piece! The humor and the underlying melancholy are in wonderful juxtaposition. And I agree with Annmarie about the fitted sheet.

  4. Thanks Darryl!

  5. Beautiful image of an empty chair looking out on the world — I love the fit with the domestic advice.

  6. Thanks Rose! When I saw the picture I knew exactly which poem it should go with 🙂

  7. Richard Allen Taylor

    Jimmy Pitt’s empty chair facing a window on a world in bloom speaks volumes on the subject of divorce. I’m honored to have my poem sharing space with this wonderful image.

  8. Glad it works for you, Richard!

  9. Fantastic poem! I really love this.

  10. Bryan – you’d probably really enjoy Richard’s book. He has a great sense of humor 🙂

  11. Enjoyed this, in part because folding fitted sheets is indeed one of the banes of my existence.

  12. Rosalyn Marhatta

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t fold fitted sheets. What a wonderful poem and great advice too.

  13. Jeanette Gallagher

    I wish I’d met him when I was much younger! I like him, feel sorry for him, but only for an instant because he is so damn funny!

  14. These are both wonderful, so a perfect fit together! 🙂

  15. Richard Allen Taylor

    Thanks to all for the kind comments and thanks to Beebe for an evocative photo.

  1. Pingback: Thursday Poem Share « Jessie Carty

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