It is said life is a comedy for those who think
and a tragedy for those who feel
a more compassionate
less back of envelope division
than half glasses – full or empty.
Half full or half empty?
as if the emotions of men and women
contain no ambiguity, no apostasy, no proselytism
never require bracketing of alternative.
Recall would never yield her name without struggle.
Thelma? Thelma, that was it.
Her head was always covered
mask at jaunty half mast
or cheerfully in place
a warm word
or ruffling smile of acknowledgement.
I saw her out of work just once
in a busy cafe
she said, “don’t you recognize me with my clothes on”
to the amusement of the table.
Risqué was fact
I had only ever seen her in scrubs.
It was her 16-year-old daughter who found her
one Friday afternoon after school
hanging in the lounge.
Where does the purity of snow go
when it bleeds dirt to slush
or humour when it’s creator surrenders to demons?
It was a line I used for less than a year
I could never repeat the story
without thinking of her
and how comedy became tragedy.