Wives – Nov. 2008


Don’t be upset –

you’re the ones they really choose

You come first and last

We are just in the middle

a perpetual middle

and not the whole middle

just a piece of it

a diversion, an

entertaining bite

Don’t be jealous –

they can’t live on us without you

they won’t subsist

We’re just the sinful dessert

the forbidden snacking

while you’re the

main course

the substance

the meat

the sustenance,

we’re just sugar,

chocolate frosting,

potato chips

Don’t be selfish –

you get the legal benefits,

the respect

the ring

we get a few dollars

a few outings

a few meals

You want them all to

yourself?  All the

money and entertainment

to yourself?

We only take a nibble

You get the full protection

You get the stability

We’re just tottering on waves

Let us have some of the pie

Though we’ll never be

legitimate or recognized,

let your husbands enjoy

themselves with us.

Give them a break

and us a night out

And don’t shirk

your responsibility –

things they would

never dare do with you

they expect of us;

they can always

count on us

because they can’t

count on you.

But we don’t have a

claim on them,

we don’t really count –

What title do we have?

What will our

Gravestones say?

We are hidden

You are public

They can talk of you

in strong, confident tones –

“My wife, my wife…”

while we must be

whispered if uttered

at all.

Be glad you are spoken,

written, acknowledged.

Be glad for visibility,

for ownership.

Be glad you can have

real children with them.

How would we explain it?

To our friends?

To our family?

To our children?

We can’t even talk

about your  husbands

unless to others like us.

If our friends knew,

people from church,

what would they do?

Condemn us and

disown us.

We must always

be vague:

“I’m working late”

“I’m seeing other friends tonight”

“My job takes all my time”

“Oh, no one gave it to me.”

You get to say

“my husband.”

We don’t get to

say “my” anything.  Yet

you use them just as

we do, only your

payment is far greater.

So don’t complain.

Don’t simmer in anger.

We get them off

your  hands for a few

hours or a few nights.

And we can never

muster a headache.

We must always be “on.”





Waiting for them.

Worth their time and money.

We are cut no slack.

So cut us some.

Interest and patience

lost in us rarely return,

while we merely

temporarily replace

their lost interest in you

for but a morsel of time,

being chewed and

digested with no

guarantee of a


Your payment and

status are fairly


Ours exist only

in the dark room

where time and light

threaten our very safety.

So don’t whimper.

You know they’ll always

come home to you

Maybe not tonight

or tomorrow

or even next week

but they’re yours.

They already chose you

for good.

So let them choose us

for evil.


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