BY HOLLY DAY
Copyright is held by the author.
The Letters Keep Coming
cringe. draw away from me out
of me slough away
promises burn holes
in dreams I know
you, silent in the darkened hall, white armor
stripped and revealed to be paste. tell me why
I need you. don’t leave me yet. run. pull
yourself off of me out of me get
as far as you can from
me, I exile you because
I know. once a week
she calls me to let me know you’re still
sleeping with her, tells me about
the life you have planned
for the two of you. she wants forgiveness.
she wants to know if I’m okay with all
I tell her I’m fine
it would be easier to think of my husband as being a white knight
if I wasn’t the one always killing spiders, digging holes for dead pets
waking up the middle of the night with babies and
going to work every day. If it wasn’t me putting food on the table
every night, I could maybe see him as some sort of hero.
I’m not sure why. My mother used to tell me that
being a wife and being a mother were two very similar things
that no matter how hard a wife works, she still has to pamper
her husband. I don’t believe this, but I still do it.
I think of the lessons my daughter is learning
from watching me clean crumbs up after my husband
at lunch, the way I shut down and just take it when he accuses me
of not contributing anything to the family, the horrible things he calls me,
his constant harping on the state of my hair and my weight. I want
to put my hands over her ears, fill her head instead wit
Disney images of princesses
being worshipped by handsome princes
of house-cleaning mice and flowers
that never stop blooming.
but mostly I want her to know
about the princes.