The Farmer’s Wife (part two): Fourth Calmacott

Farmer's Wife two

The Farmer’s Wife (part two)

 

While I bent and cried, right hand

Rising to the hammering of my heart

Glass out of panes and littering the graveled floor

I cared more for Arthur’s blaming me

Says the music makes me deaf

His cuttings in their boxes

His wartime gambit, making brass

Adorning cemetery plots

Still all untouched by frost, it hasn’t come

I see him smash the gramophone and then

I see myself on hands and knees, alone

Scrubbing at the door stone

My own blood

“Missus…pretty, them…geraniums”

I’ll not pay her any mind, I am spotting clues

Yes, my shoulders shook, I heard her laugh

“Missus,” again she whispers, “I have seen a man.”

A cork, a fat metal bolt, and worse

A basilisk’s egg, so I was told, white and pocked

Like coral from an ancient sea

Has this child never had a fancy?

Does she make her way in others’ rooms to find—

This, I’d dreamed must hold inside

Diamonds to deliver me, and treasured

When sentiment had lost all luster

For that the dream was sweet

—a missile, merely, a thing at hand?

“And I said to him…” Bessie tells me

“Are you hungry? Come up to the house, then.”

 

Arthur:

 

Copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster

 

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