Sharon Gerald

Your Chances**

Nearly 50% of all divorced Americans
personally know someone who is going to Hell.

None of this is, nor should it be construed as,
science, but a random sampling of one

reveals that you are, after all, capable of doing
the worst thing that has been done to you.

You are capable of doing it to someone
you do not want to hurt.

When you look across a stirring straw into
a personality that somehow resembles

a love you gave up reluctantly,
chances of sexing a married person

increase by as much as 75%
if you are a person who prays without hope,

only 40% if you pray with confidence.
When alcohol is introduced, women

are 60% more likely to speak the truth
to a stranger. Only 35% more inclined

to gently, before going too far,
let down the one they know well.

Your likelihood of lusting your love
is 25-50% less than loving your lust.

You are 95% predisposed to believing
this is unavoidably and at once both

the right and wrong way to live.
You have less than a 1% chance

of escaping your own guilt.
But recent studies reveal you will

conduct further research during which
friends will 85% of the time offer

hypotheses that will make you appear
to be normal, not much different from them.

Though this is not, nor should it be mistaken
for statistically proven, nearly 100%

of divorced Americans know more than one
person going through Heaven and Hell.

** In response to a caption seen in the New York Times.


When We Talk

There are people in this world who have
never been to a Laundromat
because they have too much money,
others because they do not have enough.

There is no one who has stayed away
for lack of dirt, and no one who has never
taken a pill to be happier for lack of sorrow.

I have lunch with women who whisper
of their unhappy marriages,
whisper louder of the marriages of others.

One says, “I was so much in love
when I saw my husband only on Saturday nights.”
The children were children back then.
There was so much to do.

Boredom means we have too much
and somehow not enough.

When another woman talks,
we lift our goblets in unison and smile
at the river of wine coursing
through our certain secret knowledge
that when she says “the real Tony,”
as in the one she used to love,
she means the way he was
when he was with his first wife,
the one from whom she saved him.


Sharon Gerald teaches English at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, MS. She holds degrees, though not so much pedigrees, from Oklahoma State University and the University of Southern Mississippi. At the potluck, she’s the one who brought the Sour Cream Lay’s and Oreos because she forgot to cook. She blogs like she cooks, but you can follow her at