Carnegie Mellon University

"Wife" by Hannah Geisler

First Place for High School Poetry

(after Jamaica Kincaid)




and yellow latex gloves.

           choke                       /yourself

with a noose of delicately brilliant pearls   and finger the scars

like a chocolate/ diamond necklace.

                    never wear ripped stockings

never wear fringe or lace

          you slut.

be humble

         and meek

and when you do speak, share     gossip/beef stew recipes

                 tell me/ about grandma’s county/ fair cobbler

         does molasses /     stain cotton?

curl your hair      everyday

and then tie it      away from your face

never let him see/                                 you sweat.

              get excited over aprons/ watch infomercials

and then call your               girlfriends

              to brag about your latest gadgets.

                         never stop/           working

never set down  the sponge

               lotion your hands

twice a day to help with the                                bleeding

           get down on your knees/ polish the            china/ dinner at 5 o’clock.

buy lingerie




and surprise        him after work    wear it

that night/ and every night after that / and any other time

                                                                              that he tells you.

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