"Wife" by Hannah Geisler
First Place for High School Poetry
(after Jamaica Kincaid)
and yellow latex gloves.
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
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.
and surprise him after work wear it
that night/ and every night after that / and any other time
that he tells you.