The Farmer’s Wife: Third Calmacott

the-farmers-wife

 

The Farmer’s Wife

 

Mathilda Arthur, you have fallen far behind

Chair pulled near the gramophone, needles busy

Nellie Melba singing God save the king

Seems busy, knitting…quiets the mind

But that’s not doing your chores, girl

Get out. Get out now.

His pigeons, them he treasures so, and the county

show coming and the autumn manuring…

I pulled my old boots on

This was all Mr. Stewart’s doing

I hailed him. He made a show

Of not hearing, and I knew why.

Arthur has gone to Bristol

Same as he went to fetch me, years ago

when I came up from Alderney

To be his bride

His mad rages make them all afraid

I see Stewart’s Bessie come to take the hand he beckons with

Now he has a witness

When he speaks to Arthur’s wife

And Bessie’s face comes over spiteful

I see her fingers slick with grease

I almost think Stewart’s daughter is the hooligan

Been setting fires, marking stones with witch-signs

Burning effigies

I know she has been at the pigeons, glutting them with feed

 


 

Farmer’s Wife: Fourth Calmacott

 

(copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster)

 

 

 

 

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