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spacer.gif   Jeanette Green
Posted by : cj on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 12:54 AM
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Poetry:  Click On The Author's Name .
The 1st Wife

After all these years, there you are.
They come, young men with cameras and bright, arrogant lights.
They press white powder into the seams of your face.
Back and forth they track mud on the 2nd wife's prized oriental carpet.
They walk softly around you, like women in high button shoes.
They let you bum their expensive smokes;
Gold-tipped, slender, pin-stripped, and filtered.

They want to film you.
They want you to fill and spill about the war.

About your father's dark Sabbath suits
And the four green-eyed, British cousins; all named after flowers.
About strolling the street after you gave up your bicycle.
And your mother sitting, sewing star after yellow star neatly,
with economic, little stitches.

But, most of all her...the 1st wife.
How her parents let you marry her even if she was young. Too young.
Her father looked you up and down and laughed.
She's too good for the likes of you, my boy.
Too young.16.

So young that that first year you worked at the bakery at night.
You would come home and find her waiting.
Every damn light in the house burning at 5 am.
Reading maybe.
Or just writing her name and yours
over and over again on a sheet of paper.
You would feed her bread too ugly for the shop
Dipping the dusty crusts in warm milk for her.
The nights you made love, your schlong slipping into her like oiled glass.
Unresisting not the right word.
Simply welcoming.
Kissing your neck.
Your soul seeping out of every pore, gathering around your head like smoke.

That one hot night a week before she had the baby,
Laying on top of the covers,
Magic.
2 bodies curving like parenthesis around the single, twitching, heartbeat.
The sweetest most delicious of traps.

Then you're angry with remembering the way
They chased you like dogs and
You hid like children.
And when you came out, came out of the war
Without her...or your son.
You knew it had been true all along
She was too good for the likes of you.

They film you.
You curse.
You drum your useless fists against your silly old thighs.
You even spit.

And where you can't see
The young men ring them selves in a circle like boys at a football game.
Their thumbs up.
All agreeing,
That this was gonna make for some great TV.


100

Some accountant's tall, white, awkward son and a preacher's dark, myopic, pretty daughter sit in her cloistered kitchen. Sitting high above Chicago, they are better without prying eyes. She isn't plain, or bookish surrounded by Jake's embrace. He is overjoyed with two quick, shy, touches of the girl's lips. Leah gives wistful pecks away, as if kisses have quiet whimsy, just like leaves joyfully falling through October air toward an upturned face. They're sweethearts against flaming crosses, beloved forever despite neighborhood mothers whispering over dripping clotheslines. So, Let treasonous tongues slander our lovers? No, I will protect their secluded splendor.

Note: Jeanette was featued in day two of the 2004 Chicago Poetry Fest at Weeds.

 
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