Old man with a cell phone (Version 1)

One sunny morning on the way to the office, I spied an impeccably groomed older man sitting at a terrace, writing a text message on his cell phone.

I couldn’t see his face, but he looked to be long past 60. He had chosen to keep his hair a bit long, combed back over his head with hair gel, those little curls just grazing the collar of his elegant dark suit (a look locally known as engominado), and I could see the glint of cufflinks on his sleeves.  I had the first verse before I arrived at the office. Naughty me, I knew where it was going to go from the moment I saw him.

Old man with a cell phone

The old man with a cell phone
and cufflinks on his sleeves
still tells his wife he loves her
each morning as he leaves.

He dresses like he’s off to work.
They both know that’s a lie.
(There hasn’t been a paycheck
since a year ago, July.)

He imagines her as busy,
ironing his shirts,
and as he texts his mistress,
briefly wonders if it hurts.

But no harm done, a man’s a man!
It’s always been this way!
(Unknown to him, his wife has guests,
a new one every day.)

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